Player with same injury as D. Rose regains strength

April 30, 2012 (CHICAGO)

It is the prime topic of debate among Bulls fans right now. Will Rose recover well enough from the torn ACL to become the most valuable player he was a year ago? Medical experts say it's too soon to tell. But Yale-bound basketball player Meredith Boardman who has been there offers reason for optimism.

From watching her move around on the basketball court, you would never guess Boardman suffered a torn ACL a year and half ago. With diligent physical therapy and strength training, she made the all-state team this year at Fenwick High School.

"I looked at therapy as my new sport and I looked at it as my new season," she told ABC7. "Putting everything I had into my therapy session was kind of like my practice for the day."

Like Bulls fans everywhere, Boardman cringed at the video of Derrick Rose collapsing on the court Saturday after tearing his ACL. But she also knows with the right medical treatment and therapy, an athlete can recover and return to form.

As chief of sports medicine at Loyola Hospital, Dr. Pietro Tonino has done thousands of ACL surgeries. And everyone is different. He says you can never predict how well a patient will recover until you see the damage.

In the case of Derrick Rose, Dr. Tonino says the best medical care combined with Rose's work ethic and talent should help. But it is still a complicated surgery.

"If you look at it critically, it is not a normal ACL ever again," he said. "But people with unique physical abilities, as he has, they are able to still make up for it."

"It's going to mean a lot of hard work over the next six months," said Kevin Hendrix, physical therapist.

It was also hard work for Boardman, but it paid off. She says she's back to 100 percent. Next year she plans to play in the Ivy League at Yale. That's why she's still working hard with her strength coach, Thurman Hendrix

"I don't think of her as somebody who has had an ACL at this point," said Hendrix.

Doctors say it will likely be a couple weeks before Rose gets surgery on the knee. It will still be about six months before he can return to the basketball court.

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