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Fri, 18 May 2012 03:30 AM EDT

At a specific point while journalists directed questions at the orthopedic surgeon who performed Derrick Rose’s reconstructive knee surgery, the medical language started to obscure together. Football scores

All anybody needed to know is how and when. When will Rose be able to comeback full time to the basketball court and how will he get back the form that has made him one of the best players in the NBA?

The quick answer to the timetable query, announced Bulls team surgeon Dr. Brian Cole is eight to twelve months. The long respond was somewhat chilling.

“While he’ll hopefully be at a high level in twelve months, it may take barely longer to be at his pre-injury level,” Cole announced. “That’s not unusual in athletes of this caliber.”

And in one sentence by the medical professional best-equipped to anticipate, the reality of the situation set in. The next time we see the Derrick Rose we have grown so accustomed to watching on the basketball court, he’s going to be 25 years old. Still young, likely still supremely gifted, but no longer a kid either.

“There is only so much that willfully is under our control,” Cole declared. “[The rest is] all about physiology and the way in which the body responses …”

In other words, don’t expect miracles, like Rose coming back at full strength by next Jan and leading the Chicago Bulls to the NBA Finals.

This is how it should be, naturally. As Bulls General Manager Gar Forman put it in discussing about the team’s plans, it’s the long term that is really critical. That philosophy should be useful when critics demand results next season and came in especially convenient when neatly sidestepping the Luol Deng situation.

We still don’t know when or if Deng will undergo surgery to fix ripped tendons in his non-shooting wrist. And we still don’t know where Bulls management stands on this, or on Deng’s decision to play for Great Britain in the Olympic Games this summer in London.

“With [Rose's surgery] going on, we haven’t had the chance to sit down with our hospital personnel and Luol,” Forman recounted. “Our biggest concern with Luol is his health, and I know that’s our fans’ largest problem and his biggest concern, so that’s the very next step, to get with Luol and see where he’s at and then come up with a adjust going forward.”

As for what the Bulls will do without Rose, it seems like next season might be ugly. In their defense, it is not as if they can go out and find another Rose, but it would be a shame if the unexpectedness of his rehab becomes an easy excuse for the entire organization to backslide.

“We’re optimistic that at some particular point [Rose] will be back,” Forman recounted. “I’m not sure we’ll make plans as if he’ll be, but we’re optimistic he’s going to be at some particular point. The most important thing in our minds with an injury like this, we’ve obviously spent a considerable time putting this team together and everything was looking at the big picture long-term.

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