The Chicago Bulls star will have surgery on his right knee for the second straight season, casting doubt on whether the once dynamic point guard will ever be the same after a series of injuries.
The team announced Tuesday night that Rose was feeling pain in his knee, and an exam and MRI confirmed a medial meniscus tear.
The 2011 NBA MVP played in only 10 games last season before he had surgery for the same injury in November 2013, shelving him for the year, but the Bulls said a timetable for his return will be determined after the operation.
It's unclear when Rose re-injured the knee. He appeared to be rounding into form last month, averaging 22.6 points over his final 14 games before the All-Star break, but he had struggled since returning to the court after the time off.
Rose became the latest NBA star to be sidelined for a significant period within the past few days.
Chris Bosh will miss the rest of the season after the Miami Heat announced blood clots were found on one of his lungs. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (left knee surgery) won't return this season, either.
Thunder star Kevin Durant had surgery on his right foot, and Pelicans big man Anthony Davis has a sprained right shoulder. Both are expected back this season.
Rose's status remains to be seen.
Rose had eight points on 1-for-13 shooting while playing almost 33 minutes in Monday night's 87-71 victory over Milwaukee. He averaged 10.7 points on 23.5 per cent shooting in Chicago's first three games after the break.
It's a big blow for the surging Bulls (36-21), who have won six of seven and appeared to be picking up steam after a tough stretch. They lead the Central Division by a half-game over Cleveland, but any extended absence for Rose will make it quite difficult for Chicago to hold off LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
"Man feel bad for D.Rose! Keep your head up homie and stay strong G!" James tweeted after the injury was announced.
James was one of several NBA stars who took to social media to express their support for Rose, who has been dogged by injuries since he won the MVP award. All-Star teammate Jimmy Butler posted a picture of him and Rose with the message: "my point guard. my brother."
Rose was limited to 39 games during the 2011-12 season, and tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Game 1 of the 2012 playoffs against Philadelphia. He missed the next season altogether, and then last season was cut short by the right knee surgery.
Rose, 26, is averaging 18.4 points and 5.0 assists in 46 games this season. He has flashed his MVP form at times, attacking the rim, but his outside shot has been unreliable. He is shooting just 40.7 per cent, the second-lowest average of his career, and is committing 3.2 turnovers per game.
The Bulls have shuffled players in and out of the lineup because of various ailments and have struggled to develop continuity after making some big moves last summer.
They signed All-Star Pau Gasol, giving them a big scoring presence inside, and with Rose back after missing most of the past two years, the Bulls came in looking to contend for a championship.
Now they wait to see how long Rose will be out with this injury.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap