In this day and age of high flying, fast moving, power displaying NBA players, Derrick Rose was regarded as one of the best! MVP in 2010-11 season; comparisons to Michael Jordan; and numerous championships already planned for Chicago in the minds of fans like me. The dream of Chicago Bulls fans around the world has now come to a knee buckling jump stop. Hoping for the best for you D. Rose, but I have major concerns. So here we go…
Derrick Rose tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) while performing his signature power move: Jump Stop and attack or pass. Since his rookie season in the NBA, Rose has amazed fans around the world with his athletic ability, conjuring up images of and comparisons to the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan who led the bulls to six (6) NBA championships (All of us Bulls fans know there would have been more banners if not for baseball).
While watching the video, you’ll notice Rose’s body was off balance (if you look closely) as he landed with more weight on his left leg than his right leg. This is a move that is partially learned (NBA players often practice the move landing on the inside leg incorrectly) and in other cases it is done subconsciously, as a compensation for weakness or injury to the other leg. Weight should be more evenly distributed with more weight on the outside leg to actually change directions more effectively.
While moving to his right, Rose should have been preparing his body to land with slightly more weight on his right leg than his left. To help you understand, when moving to the right, it is the right leg’s job to stop the lateral movement to the right. The left leg acts as a decelerator with weight distribution (40-45% left, 60-55% right). In Rose’s case, his left leg (in hitting the ground with more of Rose bodyweight on it) attempted to stop his motion to the right, with limited weight absorbed on his right leg (based upon an evaluation of Rose’s posture in video footage of the incident).
In my opinion, Rose was most likely compensating (as many great athletes would do) for the foot injury/soreness he felt less than two weeks ago. Now Rose has been battling injuries all year:
According to Fox Sports these are the injuries reported since January 11, 2012:
1/11/2012 Sprained left big toe. (Catalyst to right leg injuries)
1/16/2012 Sprained left big toe.
2/10/2012 Strained lower back
4/10/2012 Sprained Right Ankle (Key injury leading contributor to ACL/MCL tear)
4/16/2012 Soreness Right Foot (Key injury major contributor to ACL/MCL tear)
Other injuries Rose suffered during his brief career include additional injuries to his right ankle and a bruise to his right hip from a collision with Dwight Howard in 2010.
Rose’s injury patterns indicate a clear cut case of compensating injuries shifting back and forth from his right side to his left, and from his feet/ankles up to his knees (with the exception of ankle sprains and contact related injuries). It is blatantly obvious to anyone who understands how the body works that Rose’ left leg should have been experiencing a significant amount of left leg fatigue as a result of the recent right foot and ankle injuries, regardless of what caused them.
In my opinion, this injury would have happened anytime. And unless Rose and his medical team address the root mean cause of his previous injuries and compensations related to them, the ACL injury could not have been prevented.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is that some of Rose’s injuries occur because he plays fearlessly with reckless abandon. It is that style of play that now with an ACL and MCL injury could lead to more injuries from Rose. In addition to the risk of more injuries (next up is either a reoccurrence of the left ACL tear or a tear of the right ACL within 12 to 18 months (which is actually pretty common).
I’m thinking a tear of his right ACL happens first but this one is tough to predict because of Rose’s style of play. If I were to complete a 3D Motion Analysis of Rose’s body, I’d be able to provide a more accurate prediction (This is based solely on my opinion and evaluation of his injury history and playing style).
Rose ACL tear is clearly related to his recent injuries. Many people are asking should Coach Tom Thibodeau have taken Rose out of the game. Actually, coach has no idea about limits that should have been placed on Rose after his recent string of injuries. However, common sense would tell any medical professional that Rose’s play should have been limited (bring up images of Brandon Roy against Phoenix in 2009 playoffs).
It’s easy to see that Rose was compensating for the soreness in his right foot. This can be done consciously or subconsciously. Only Rose really knows how his foot feels when he jumps, changes directions, or lands on it. If Rose was feeling any fatigue at all in his foot, it was up to him to salvage his career. However, because no player wants to be considered soft and take himself out of the game, Rose chose to stay in the game (as would every other athlete who is taught “no pain, no gain”) hopefully sending a message to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Please keep in mind it is the medical staff whose job it is to impose limitations on players’ time on the court or in a game when a player returns from injury. It is not the responsibility of the coaches at the professional or any level to determine if a player is physically recovered. Thibodeau’s job is to play the players who are eligible to play, not monitor rehab and fitness levels of players. So let’s give Thibodeau a break. If the injury hadn’t happened, and the Bulls won by 20 with rose on the court, this topic related to the injury would be a non-issue.
When Rose comes back after surgery, his style of play will definitely change. We won’t see the old powerful, explosive Derrick Rose for 2? 3? Maybe 4 years, and that’s only if there are no setbacks over the first year. His signature “jump stop” power move could be what ends the career of another bright young NBA star. Keep in mind, an ACL injury is not like a meniscus/cartilage injury. It can be death to an athlete who relies on explosiveness and changing directions. The ACL and MCL provide stability to the knee, while cartilage essentially acts as a cushion. Rose needs stability of the knee for his game to be effective. It will be at least one year before Rose’s repaired ACL is healed enough to provide the stability for the types of moves Rose needs to make when playing. And let’s also not forget about those chronic injuries on his right side. They could at any time cause an injury to his right knee or re-injury to his left.
Yes. Derrick Rose will play again but it is highly unlikely he be the same high flying Derrick Rose we knew before the fourth quarter was near its end this past Saturday. I’m praying for a safe surgery and really, really, good rehab. And hey Derrick in case you’re listening, objective measurements of how your body is functioning during rehab and identifications of your injury related compensations will be the key to your return to the Derrick Rose glory days. Speaking as a Bulls fan since the arrival my home states’ Scottie Pippen, I’m pulling for D. Rose.
While I have not worked with Derrick Rose, I write this post at the request of several readers who have posted or emailed with questions about the topic. My preference is to comment on athletes based on objective information. This post is merely my opinion based upon a subjective review of Rose’s injury history and video of the actual incident in which Rose tore his ACL.
On Wednesday, I’ll discuss ACL injuries, the surgical procedures and the most common aspect related to the surgery and rehab that could be considered negligent in the areas of orthopedic surgery and rehab. In this story, I’ll explain why I feel Derrick Rose’ career could be over and what Rose and his therapists and trainers can do to help extend his career and reduce the risk of repeat or compensation injuries related to the ACL/MCL reconstruction he is about to undergo.
Zig Ziegler, The Sports Kinesiologist, provides feedback on injuries to A-List athletes in an effort to help educate athletes and parents on the prevention of injuries. Be sure to check out other stories here about Greg Oden, Mark Sanchez, Tiger Woods, and more. Follow on twitter @zigsports.