Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has admitted it is a blow to be losing point guard Derrick Rose for the rest of the season.
The 2011 MVP will sit out the rest of the season after he suffered a torn medial meniscus - which acts as a cushion to stop friction in the knee between bones.
Rose, who missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was warned that lack of action now could result in long-term damage and even arthritis after he retires.
He is expected to return from the injury in between 3-6 months, although the Bulls star took his time to recover from his ACL injury last time round.
"You want to save what's there. My guess is that you want to prolong the longevity of the career," Dr. Alexis Colvin told USA TODAY Sports.
Thibodeau admits it is a serious setback to be without Rose for the remainder of the campaign.
"We of course feel very badly for Derrick," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters.
"I talked to him at length (Saturday) night. He's in good spirits — about as well as can be expected under the circumstances. And he's already thinking about his rehab and typical Derrick, concerned about his team (and) his teammates."
The news couldn't come at a worse time for the Bulls, who are struggling to turn around a three-game losing streak.
They suffered an 82-121 defeat against the Los Angeles Clippers last night, but will be hopeful of gaining a much needed win against rock-bottom Utah Jazz this evening.