Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose Have Similar Injury Plights, Different Paths

CHICAGO — Derrick Rose had a good shine on him from a great sweat, something we’ve so rarely seen in recent years.

He was asked if the knee felt good during his just-finished workout.

“Felt great,” Rose said.

That’s something—but that was the extent of any injury-redemption narrative found at the United Center on Monday night, no matter how carefully the NBA schedule-maker crafted the Martin Luther King Day slate to bring Rose and Kobe Bryant’s comebacks to the same court.

Both stars’ motivational success stories after disastrous injuries are on hold.

Rose was out with his new knee injury, a torn meniscus in his right knee from the 10th game of this season. Bryant has only played in six games this season, derailed by a fractured left knee on top of the ruptured left Achilles that ended last season for him.

Bryant, 35, said before the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Chicago Bulls that he would try to get a word with Rose, 25, even though there wasn’t much to say.

“It’s unfortunate, but you have two options,” Bryant said about their plights. “One is to lay down and not do anything about it. And the second is to get up and get to work. I think the second one is the more appealing one, for sure.”

Bryant said he continues to do heavy bike training to maintain his conditioning for his return. Bryant had told reporters Friday in Boston that the healing in his bone would be re-evaluated “in February,” but that’s not actually the plan.

The shooting guard is set to be examined Jan. 27 or 28, right after the Lakers’ road trip ends Sunday in New York. It is entirely conceivable that he gets medical clearance and even plays as soon as Jan. 31 against the Charlotte Bobcats. But Bryant’s reference to February suggests, if cleared, he could...

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