Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 2/6/13

The 2011-2012 season was one of highs and lows for one of the league’s most explosive and fun-to-watch players, Derrick Rose. Rose was coming off of a stellar MVP season, and looked to build on that and push the Bulls deep into the playoffs. The Bulls extended his contract for another five years and $94.8 million in December of 2011, rightfully so. Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists per game during the season, and had the Bulls sitting atop the East at 50-16. Their first round matchup paired them with the Eighth-Seeded 76ers. via cosbysweaters.com The Injury Game 1 of the seven-game series was in Chicago where the Bulls led from basically start to finish. Rose played fabulous scoring 23 points, dishing nine assists, while grabbing nine boards, but he did not finish the game. With the Bulls up 12 late, Rose drove to the basket and made a hop-step, but when he came back to the floor his left knee gave out. He immediately grabbed it and fell to the floor. TNT’s Kevin Harlan’s words describing the injury are instilled in every Bulls fans’ memories to this day, “Holding on to his knee, holding onto his knee and down.” 76ers Head Coach Doug Collins asked Derrick if he needed the trainer and all Rose could say was a subtle, yet painful “yeah.” He was in shock and in immense pain, but so was everyone else. The Bulls players raced down to the other end of the court along with Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau as they braced for the worst. As they began to show the play over and over again it became pretty obvious that Rose had suffered the death sentence to an athlete’s season; the two words no player want to hear, “Torn ACL”. The Bulls won the game, but lost the war. Rose’s season was over just like that, and so were the Bulls. They would lose the series to Philadelphia in six games, and dread a possible 2012-2013 season without their star for its entirety. This wasn’t just a loss for Bulls fans, it was a loss for the NBA because it took away one of the most dynamic and explosive players we have the privilege of watching. A torn ACL usually takes about 8-12 months to recover from, and because of how late in the season it occurred, Rose was at a serious risk of sitting out the 2012-2013 campaign. The Fight Back With the All-Star Break fast approaching, the Bulls, without Rose, sit third in the Eastern Conference at 29-18 and only trail the Heat by 2.5 games. Rose’s recovery has progressed to the point where he is taking full contact in practice. The Bulls are looking to bring him back right around February 19th when they travel to New Orleans and play the Hornets. Rose has pushed himself to get back to 100% and I believe he is at that point. The return of Rose will boost an already good Bulls team, to what I think the best team in the East. Yes, I think the Bulls can take down the defending champs. Well, to test that theory, the NBA has the Bulls matched up with the Heat in what is to be Rose’s first game back at home. There cannot be a more hyped game in the coming months than this one and the Heat are in for a rude awakening. Coming back from ACL surgery is no joke, but Rose is determined to be great. Plus, if there is a player out there that can complete this type of comeback, it’s Rose. Something I always love to remember is when the Bulls were debating about whom to take with their number one pick between Rose and Michael Beasley. In their interviews, Bulls Owner Jerry Reinsdorf asked them both: what about college basketball bothered them the most? Beasley answered, “When you go on the road and the referees make bad calls.” Rose answered, “Losing.” There is little doubt in my mind Rose will come back and lead the Bulls back to superiority. As a Chicago-born and bred, he feels it is his obligation to bring the Bulls back to the Finals and he will. The Return of Rose has arrived. -Huberman

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