Here we are again. Another NBA season and another Derrick Rose knee injury. For those of you keeping score at home, Derrick Rose has now had 3 major knee surgeries in as many seasons. In 2012, Rose suffered a torn ACL and Adidas ran advertisements to get everyone hyped up for #thereturn. That return was short-lived however, as just 10 games into the 2013-14 season he went down again. If there is one thing I have learned from Hollywood, it is that sequels are never as good as the original and three-quels (this is now a word) are usually even worse. But I have good news for you…basketball isn’t Hollywood. Yes, Derrick Rose’s return from his first and second knee injuries didn’t go great, but there is still hope that Rose can return to his NBA MVP form.
What does the meniscus do?
The primary role of the meniscus is to act as a shock absorber at the knee joint. For example, when a player lands after a jump, the meniscus acts as a cushion between two bones of the knee joint, the tibia (shin bone) and the femur (thigh bone). Without an intact meniscus, the bones would directly slam into each other upon landing which could lead to an injury.
Wait a minute, didn’t Derrick Rose tear his meniscus last year and miss pretty much the whole season?
So why is he only out 4-6 weeks this time?
I don’t know. Just kidding, I do. Rose will only be out for 4-6 weeks because this time he decided to have the torn piece of the meniscus removed rather than have it repaired. As is always the case, there are pros and cons to each option:
- PRO – Once the meniscus heals, it should function at least close to as well as a normal intact meniscus.
- CON – As we saw with Rose last year, the recovery time is much, much longer.
- PRO – Rose is only scheduled to miss 4-6 weeks of the season.
- CON – With a piece of the meniscus missing, it is possible that Rose develops arthritis at a relatively young age.
If Rose develops knee arthritis could that potentially shorten his career?
Yes. Most of the time we think of arthritis as an issue for older people. However, basketball can accelerate the development of arthritis due to the immense amount of stress and force the game places on the knee joint. Since Rose is now missing a piece of his meniscus, he is more vulnerable to developing arthritis in his knee. Had Rose decided to have this surgery toward the end of his career, like the Detroit Tigers Victor Martinez, its possible that arthritis would not effect the length of his career. Martinez, who has also been a victim of multiple knee injuries throughout his career, seems to have a better chance of returning to form than Rose, as he has the ability to switch between being a designated hitter and playing first base in order to minimize wear and tear on his knees. While Rose may be able to play through the pain from arthritis for a few years, eventually it could force him to retire early.
When Rose returns will he be able to make those quick cuts like he used to?
I always thought that after Rose’s first knee injury, and surely after his second knee injury, he would be forced to change his game. Well, clearly I was wrong. However, in the first few games back I wouldn’t be surprised to see him kind of ease back in to the pace of the game. Once Rose feels mentally comfortable that his knee can withstand the intense stress of a basketball game, I think we will see him exploding to the basket like an NBA MVP should.
By David Schwartz