(Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE)

Derrick Rose Suffers Knee Injury, Bulls Prepare for the Worst as MRI is Scheduled

Bulls 103, Sixers 91 — FINAL

Derrick Rose left the court Saturday with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. We are still awaiting MRI results. (Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE)

The Chicago Bulls had to wait until the very end of Game 1 of their opening round playoff game to see something they didn’t want to see after 26 games in the regular season: Derrick Rose went down hard with 1:10 left to go in the game and didn’t get back up. He had to be helped off the court and headed straight to the locker room wincing in severe pain.

We’ve said it all along: Derrick Rose needs to be healthy for the Bulls to make a serious championship run and we crossed our fingers and drank the Kool-Aid but Rose didn’t even give us a full game before getting injured (as it appears initially) more severely then any of his previous five injuries.

This latest injury is Rose’s sixth of the season and hits an area of his body that is crucial to his style of play: his knees.

“He’s going to be examined and they’ll know,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He started moving his leg, but they have to do an MRI and all that, so I would be guessing.”

Here’s the thing about the injury that is worrying me. I’m not afraid to speculate, but I’m staying off of this one since it’s such a brutally close to home subject. If Rose is out, the Bulls are out — plain and simple.

But what worries me the most is there was no contact when Rose went down. Usually when that happens and you begin to hear knee injury after the fact it’s really bad. Earnest Graham was a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year and in the London game against the Bears, he got a handoff and then proceed to sit down on the field. It didn’t look like he tripped, he wasn’t hit and he didn’t flop around.

The result: torn ACL and MCL, he was done for the season.

Now I don’t want to start a panic around Chicago by bringing that up but we have to be real with ourselves. Last year we thought the Bulls would sweep their way to a seventh title. We were wrong because we weren’t being real. Same thing needs to happen here. I’m not saying Derrick Rose is done for the year but it’s not a possibility I’m ready to scoff at.

That being said, in my sports writing days, and my general sports vexing days, I’ve seen plenty of guys go down grabbing their knees, have to get helped off the field or court but ended up being fine. The knees are a delicate part of the body and an area that if injured can become a devastating event.

Because of this anytime you feel a burning sensation in your knee, or it pops the wrong way, you assume the worse. So this could be something that isn’t’ serious at all. Rose could have felt something a little off in his knee, panicked given he injuries he’s sustained this year and decided he just didn’t want to risk anything.

However, the worst case scenario has occurred and we didn’t even get through a full playoff game before it happened. Those who argued against me and said Rose isn’t fragile (mainly writers at a site that rhymes with Teacher Newport) clearly are seeing now that even if he didn’t appear so earlier this year, he is now. You don’t sustain six different injuries to six different parts of your body if you’re not fragile.

This is the price of a 66-game season folks. Rose goes hard, that’s why we love him but he can’t do it like this and we are clearly seeing what happens when Rose pushes himself too hard.

Results of the MRI are unknown at the time, but stay tuned to Pippen Ain’t Easy for more details as we get them.

For more playoff coverage stay glued to Pippen Ain’t Easy, your home for the Bulls 2011-12 championship run.

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