Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 6/22/12

It was one of the worse injuries to watch during these NBA playoffs - Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose collapsing in mid-air as his left knee (ACL) crumpled sending Rose to the floor in Game 1 of their playoff series against the Sixers. And just like that, the Bulls' season was practically over as they went on to lose their first round series.

To make matters worse, Rose's injury was reportedly so bad, it could sideline him for the entire 2012-2013 NBA season (8-12 months). So as the upcoming season might be weighing heavily on the minds of Bulls' staff and fans, comes some good news regarding Rose's rehab.

ESPN Chicago reports Rose is ahead of schedule of his arduous rehab process according to Dr. Brian Cole, who performed Rose's surgery.

"Derrick is ahead of schedule," Cole said in a phone conversation Wednesday night. "This was part of the plan established before surgery. This was not a consultation with another physician, but rather it's working with another therapist in collaboration with the Bulls' training staff."

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Cole said. "He's ahead of schedule. [The rehab] is a way to keep things fresh for Derrick, to help give him some variety."

This is great news for Chicago but they should tread lightly.

There is no reason for the Bulls or Rose to rush the rehab process. The long-term certainly outweighs the short-term and this team needs their MVP at 100% if they want to remain in contention for a title for years to come.

There are available free agent point guard the Bulls can look to as a stop-gap for Rose to take his time rehabbing. Steve Nash (who would want to win a title) would be a solid player to go after, as would Jason Kidd, and Goran Dragic. Any of those free agents would be a nice fit for an already talented Bulls team with Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Rip Hamilton, Ronnie Brewer, and Taj Gibson. Though none of them can ever replace a talent like Rose.

Moreover, everyone saw how Brandon Roy may have come back sooner than he should have and it resulted in his knees giving out and a premature retirement (for now). That is the last thing the Bulls and Rose would want to face.

[follow]

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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