The Rush University Medical Center doctor who performed the operation spoke to reporters about the Bulls star on Tuesday afternoon.
The Bulls will have a big hole in their lineup next season, although Dr. Brian Cole did say Rose is doing well post-surgery. Cole said Rose's young age, 23, works in his favor as far as making a full recovery.
But that recovery will be a long road. Cole said, best-case scenario, Rose could return to the Bulls in January or February of 2013.
Saturday's surgery was to repair a torn ACL on his left knee.
"You should all be pleased to know that Derrick is doing great," said Dr. Cole. "He is only four days post-operative now, and the surgery went extremely well."
When Rose suffered the injury during Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs against Philadelphia, Bulls fans hoping for a championship were also dealt a devastating blow: Their star player was out, and Chicago lost the series in six games.
It was the end of a tough season for the Bulls. Injuries plagued the team, especially Rose. He missed 27 games because of groin, back, toe, foot and ankle problems.
On Saturday, hours after the surgery, Rose's brother commented on the condensed but grueling season.
"I worried about it a lot," said Reggie Rose, "because they were doing back-to-back-to-back games, and even though everybody said, 'Well, he's young, he's young,' but it's still a human body. There's so much a human body can take."
Doctors say Rose's recovery might take eight to 12 months, but with rehab he could return to where he was pre-injury.
"Statistically, he should be that player and then some," said Dr. Cole. "That doesn't mean it's guaranteed. It's a whole lot better than what we were accustomed to years ago."
Bulls General Manager Gar Forman says, in the meantime, he has got to get his team ready to start a new season without its star player.
"Our thinking in general, long-term won't change at all," Forman said. "But short-term, obviously, you don't replace Derrick and what he brings to the team and the production that he's got. But we're gonna have to fill that spot and scrape it together."
While Tuesday afternoon's news conference was going on, Rose was leaving the orthopedic building at Rush. He was on crutches and wearing a knee brace.