An injury-plagued 2011-12 campaign culminated in a season-ending injury for Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose on Saturday. In the final minutes of the first game of the playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Rose went to the floor when his left knee gave way. The suspected culprit, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), was later confirmed by MRI. Rose is done for the remainder of the season but the consequences will extend beyond that time frame. The likely timetable for Rose's recovery will undoubtedly affect his availability for the summer Olympics and even threatens the start of his next NBA season.
A look back at the video of Rose's last few seconds of play Saturday suggests the injury happened not when he went up in the air, nor when he landed, but rather in the jump stop he made just prior to attempting to dish the ball off to teammate Carlos Boozer. Rose moves into the lane and jumps to his right, landing as if to square up before taking a shot, and his left knee can be seen quickly collapsing inward (valgus). As Rose goes upward, he appears to have no power and is off balance, then opts to try to pass the ball outside and lands askew. His left leg comes down and as he tries to step it does not support him and he goes to the ground, holding his knee. There is no doubt he is in pain, but how much is physical discomfort and how much is exasperation at this latest devastating blow is unclear. Perhaps Rose knew what everyone in the suddenly silent arena feared; this indeed was the end of a cruel and tortuous season where his days missed due to injury nearly equaled games played.