What looked to be a breakout campaign for Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine has come to a crashing halt. After injuring his knee in Friday’s game against Detroit, upon further examination, it was revealed that the 21-year-old had suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. The injury will require surgery and will cause LaVine to miss the remainder of the season. Prior to the injury, LaVine was averaging 18.9 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds per game. LaVine also scored a career-high 40 points earlier in January against the Sacramento Kings.
The injury to the back to back Slam Dunk Contest winner will without a doubt be a big loss for Minnesota. Currently, the Timberwolves sit 13th in the Western Conference at 19-31. It should also be noted that LaVine had decided not to partake in this year's Slam Dunk Contest prior to the injury.
Where does Minnesota go from here?
Rookie Point Guard Kris Dunn who has struggled offensively will most likely receive an opportunity to move into the Timberwolves starting five however, when LaVine was previously out with a hip issue Brandon Rush moved into the starting lineup to fill the gap. Former Duke University standout Tyus Jones may also likely receive a boost in minutes to try and prove himself as well. Starting Point Guard Ricky Rubio who, has produced at a solid rate for the Timberwolves thus far will also likely shoulder a bigger weight.
Currently, the timetable for LaVine’s recovery remains unclear. The injury itself will undoubtedly be handled with extreme caution and it would come as no surprise if LaVine found himself on the shelf at the beginning of next season.
We at Fadeaway World hope that Zach LaVine goes through nothing but the best of recovery processes and returns to form upon his return and continues to develop into one of the best young guards in the NBA.