Is Derrick Rose the hardest-luck athlete in Chicago sports history?
That we’re even asking the question means that, yes, Rose has suffered another injury, this one a fractured orbital bone that required surgery Wednesday. And of course it happened on the first practice of the season for the Bulls because this is Poor Derrick Rose. He might want to consider making that a legal name change.
Remember (as if you can forgot), the former league MVP has played in just 100 of 312 regular-season games the past four seasons, mostly because of two knee injuries. That sad record includes the entire 2012-13 season, thanks to the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in the 2012 playoffs.
Is there another athlete in city history who has had so many bad things happen to him? Why, yes. This is Chicago sports.
Here are Rose’s comrades in broken arms:
Gale Sayers — It might seem silly to put a Hall of Famer on the list, but this is about what might have been. The Bears’ star was on his way to becoming one of the greatest running backs in NFL history when he tore ligaments in his right knee in 1968. He was leading the league in rushing that season and was averaging a ridiculous 6.2 yards a carry. He was never the same. Two years later, he blew out his other knee. He played only seven seasons.
Mark Prior — We didn’t get to see enough of the man with the beautiful throwing motion. He was phenomenal for the Cubs in 2003, his second season, going 18-6 with a 2.43 earned-run average. After that, his career devolved into a series of injuries. He missed the first two months of the 2004 season with an Achilles tendon injury. Shoulder problems arrived later, and he never came close to his early promise.
Kerry Wood — We know two things about the former Cub. In 1998, he struck out 20 Astros as a 20-year-old. He also had 10 stints on the disabled-list in his 11 seasons with the Cubs. He missed the 1999 season after having Tommy John surgery. He played only two full seasons, 2003 and 2004. What a shame. He was throwing upper 90s at a time when few pitchers were. Hitters were lost against him.
Mike Brown — You know how football coaches are always looking for leaders? Brown was a natural-born leader. People wanted to play with and for the Bears safety. Achilles, calf, hand and knee injuries shortened his career. He cried after the knee injury in 2007, and Bears fans were right there with him.