ESPN Sources: Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell will undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body in his left knee and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 16, 2021
">to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Russell, 24, will undergo arthoscopic surgery "to remove a loose body in his left knee." The Timberwolves expect him to miss the next four-to-six weeks.
In his first full season in Minnesota, Russell has carried a heavy load. The 24-year-old point guard averaged over 29 minutes per contest in 20 appearances, while totaling 19.3 points and 5.1 assists.
In his absence, 10-year veteran Ricky Rubio will inherit the primary point-guard duties. Expect second-year man Jordan McLaughlin to also get more playing time with Russell on the mend.
The loss of Russell becomes just the latest blow to the Timberwolves in what's been a difficult 2020-21 campaign. Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has made just seven starts this year after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the season. Since the two stars teamed up in Minnesota before the trade deadline last spring, they've played in just five games together.
Very few expected the Timberwolves to compete for a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference, but Minnesota is off to an abysmal 7-20 start. Without Russell on the court, winning games will only get more difficult after the All-Star break.
Head coach Ryan Saunders now has an overall record of 43-90 in 2+ seasons at the helm of the Timberwolves. If the team can't rebound in the second half of the campaign, it's possible he could find himself on the hot seat later this spring.
Hopefully Russell can recover fully and get back onto the court in Minnesota sometime later this season.