He was a sensation, the kind of player you build a team around, and at age 23, the youngest Most Valuable Player in NBA history.
In the 2010/11 season, the Chicago Bulls led the NBA with 62 victories, and Derrick Rose was an easy choice as MVP, over LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and everyone else. Chicago lost to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals, but it had the feel of “unfinished business”. Rose and the Bulls would be back.
It has not happened. In the 2012 play-offs, Rose’s left knee exploded. He missed the entire 2012/13 season because of a particularly prolonged recovery.
He was 11 games into his comeback this season when he injured his right knee, on Friday. Again, he was untouched when the injury occurred. He had surgery on Monday, the team announced that Rose would miss the remainder of the season, which will probably result in a better long-term prognosis, but it effectively means the current campaign will be lost.
And then? A player who had a chance to make Chicago get over the departure of Michael Jordan might be an ordinary player circumscribed by serial injuries. In his comeback this year, he was not the same player he had been before the first surgery. His timing was off, his explosiveness not quite the same.
More rehabilitation is ahead, and we are left with more questions about Rose and whether he will realise the great potential he showed at such a young age.