The Chicago Bulls opened the National Basketball Association post-season with a comfortable 103-91 home win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday but it could prove costly after Derrick Rose was helped off the court with an injured knee.
The All-Star guard had missed 27 games this season because of various injuries and there had been concerns about his fitness coming into the playoffs.
Rose eased some of that concern as he poured in a game-high 23 points while adding nine rebounds and nine assists but the health of the league's most valuable player was again front and center when he landed awkwardly on his left knee and crashed to the ground late in the game.
Medical staff rushed onto the court and examined Rose for several minutes before he was helped to the locker room.
Rose's injury took away from a bright start to the post-season for the top-seeded Bulls, who also received a 19-point contribution from Richard Hamilton while Luol Deng chipped in with 17 and Joakim Noah added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Elton Brand led the eighth-seeded 76ers with 19 points.
Game Two of the best-of-seven series is set for Tuesday, also in Chicago.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)