Knicks point guard Derrick Rose will likely miss the remainder of the NBA season, as the former MVP deals with the fallout from an ankle procedure last month.
“He hasn’t taken contact,” said head coach Tom Thibodeau. “He’s ramped up his conditioning but hasn’t taken contact on. That’s a big thing.’’
Rose, who has dealt with several injuries throughout his career, underwent an operation on his right ankle on Feb. 25 to address a “skin infection,” and was presumed to be out several weeks.
The 33-year-old former Chicago Bull had previously had a different operation on the same ankle late last year, but the team remained optimistic that he would return to action before their final game.
Now, that looks increasingly unlikely, with a frustrated Thibodeau lamenting the unanswered questions about his point guard.
“I don’t know — he’s been out a long time,” the coach said.
Thibodeau and Rose go back a long way in the NBA, with the 64-year-old serving as Rose’s coach for several years in Chicago — including his MVP season in the 2010-11 season.
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The Knicks have dealt with severe injury problems at the point guard position this season, as Kemba Walker was sidelined for the remainder of the season in February.
Walker had played 37 games this season, while Rose had played just 26.
Prior to his season-ending operation, Rose had averaged 12 points per game, which was fourth on the team — behind Julius Randle, RJ Barret, and Evan Fournier.
He also boasted a respectable .445 field goal percentage, along with 4 assists and 3 rebounds per contest.
The injury to Rose, and the absence of Walker, has forced Thibodeau to rely more on the team’s younger players, such as Miles McBride and Immanuel Quickley, who have both shown great strides as they pick up the slack from the missing veterans.
That has given the Knicks a glimmer of home for the future, as this season has seen the team regress dramatically from their playoff-contending team last year.
The Knicks are currently 34–42 on the year, and are sitting as the 11th season in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, outside of the top-10 play-in tournament by 4.5 games.