CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Rose says finding out he had a torn ACL was like death.
The Chicago Bulls' superstar told CSNChicago.com he spent "the whole time praying" during the MRI that he wasn't seriously injured even though he heard a pop as he crashed to the court in the playoff opener against the Philadelphia 76ers.
"I remember everything," Rose said. "I remember jumping in the air and coming back down, and just that popping sound. I felt it actually tear when I laid all the way out and it just let go."
When team physician Dr. Brian Cole confirmed the tear, Rose said, "I couldn't believe it. That's the closest thing to death, the closest to death I've got to right there, where it just seemed like the wind and everything was taken out (of me)."
Other than a brief YouTube video last month, he had said little publicly since the injury. The interview with CSNChicago.com was conducted last month in Los Angeles, where he was working out at the time, and posted Wednesday.
Chicago was wrapping up a 103-91 victory when Rose's left leg buckled as he came to a jump start in the lane. He still went up again and passed to Carlos Boozer before crashing to the court, sending a chill through the arena.
Rose's injury dashed the Bulls' championship hopes after they captured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, and with Joakim Noah spraining his left ankle later in the series, Chicago bowed out in the first round.
The torn ACL also put the Bulls in a sort of holding pattern as they wait for their superstar point guard to return to form. Rose is expected to miss most of the season and might not rediscover his old explosive form until the following year, assuming he regains it.
"It's been hard, definitely been hard. But I've been all right," Rose told CSNChicago.com. "The injury could have been way worse. You've got some people that probably feel worse than I am, but I know I'm going to be all right. I believe in God, my spirits are up and I believe in myself, and I know I'm going to be back even stronger."
Also on Wednesday, Adidas released a one-minute promotional video documenting Rose's recovery and showing him performing various exercises.