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Alchek said ACL tears, far more common in female athletes, are scary injuries in that there’s little explanation for how to prevent them. He said the non-contact version that both Rose and Shumpert sustained are often more prevalent in the strongest, healthiest athletes.

Contact ACL tears, Altchek said, are the kind that can happen to a football player hit on the side of the knee. But Rose was jumping to stop when he was injured, and Shumpert was trying to maneuver with a behind-the-back dribble when he crumbled to the court.

Both players battled injuries during the season, with Rose missing 27 games for groin, back, toe, foot and ankle problems. There was a mixture of anger and sympathy around the NBA when the popular reigning MVP went down, possibly taking the Bulls’ title hopes with him.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Rose’s previous injuries or the schedule did not lead to the ACL tear. But players don’t seem so certain.

“There’s a lot of speculation. And it doesn’t matter. We’re in this season, we played the games, we’re in the playoffs now. Hopefully no one else goes down with these type of injuries,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said. “It’s not anything that we want to see for none of our players to go down with injuries. So you don’t know. You don’t know if it was because of the condensed season. You don’t know what the case may be. The biggest thing is that them guys get healthy.”

Twitter became a forum for debate about the schedule’s role even before Rose and Shumpert were in their hospital rooms. Former player and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose listed some players that had gone down, putting the blame on the schedule.

For some injuries, it may have been. Just not the two from Saturday.

“There really is no evidence of that, in any athlete, that wear and tear, like gradual wearing away of the ACL, is an issue in terms of the injury,” Altchek said.

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AP Sports Writers Andrew Seligman in Chicago and Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.

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Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney