LOS ANGELES – Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose had so looked forward to the warm embrace that awaited him Sunday.
With friends and family looking on from where he makes his offseason home, Rose was scheduled to play the Los Angeles Clippers in a matinee at Staples Center. That is mere miles from where the guard spent so many grueling hours rehabilitating his torn left anterior cruciate ligament over many of the previous 19 months.
Instead, Rose was headed back to Chicago on Saturday, facing more surgery and uncertainty after an MRI exam confirmed a medial meniscus tear to his right knee. The Bulls said Rose, who was injured in a 98-95 loss Friday in Portland, will be sidelined indefinitely.
How long Rose is out won’t be known until surgeons do their work. Estimates range from one month to six; that is how wide the disparity is.
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According to sources who have discussed Rose’s medical care, if merely an arthroscopic process is needed to “clean up” the injury, his absence would be on the shorter end of that spectrum. If the meniscus needs more extensive surgery to be reattached or repaired, Rose would be out longer and might miss the rest of the season.
Sources said Rose, 25, likely will opt to have the meniscus reattached, which might be better for the long term but sideline him longer.
Rose, the league’s most valuable player for the 2010-11 season, suffered the injury cutting on a noncontact play and left the arena on crutches.
Meanwhile, Memphis center Marc Gasol — last season’s league defensive player of the year — sprained his left knee and will be out indefinitely.
Brooks scores 26
HOUSTON – Aaron Brooks scored a season-high 26 points to pick up the slack for injured guard James Harden, and the Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-101 on Saturday.
Brooks, a graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle who entered the game averaging 2.8 points, had a big second quarter, making four three-point baskets and scoring 16 points. He finished with six three-pointers.
“His second quarter was special,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said. “He really had it going. He was making shots. Aaron did a great job tonight.”
Kevin Love had 27 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 21 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the host Golden State Warriors 113-101 for their 10th consecutive victory.
Portland’s Wesley Matthews scored 23 points before getting ejected, one of three players tossed out after a fracas between the teams in the third quarter.
Ex-Washington State standout Klay Thompson scored 30 points for Golden State.
• Chris Paul scored 22 points, making a go-ahead free throw with 2.5 seconds left, to help the host Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings 103-102.
DeMarcus Cousins had 23 points and 19 rebounds for the Kings, and ex-Washington Huskies player Isaiah Thomas added 22 points.
• Host San Antonio made a season-high 16 three-pointers (from 24 attempts) and routed Cleveland 126-96. The Spurs have won 10 games in a row.
• LeBron James’ jumper with 15.1 seconds left put Miami ahead for good, and the Heat beat the visiting Orlando Magic 101-99.
• Because of injuries, Philadelphia had a mere nine players in uniform when it lost 106-98 at Indianapolis.
The 76ers who didn’t play included ex-Washington Huskies Spencer Hawes (sore knee) and Tony Wroten Jr. (back).