Nets’ Russell Undergoes Knee Surgery
Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Friday, the team announced in a statement.
What this means is, the team’s biggest fear has been realized. The knee contusion suffered during a recent loss to the Utah Jazz is a lot more severe than originally thought. The Nets were originally hoping he can return to the lineup after just a handful of games. Now, his timetable for return is completely up in the air.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Sean Marks said he hopes Russell will return to the court this season, but will look at it from a long-term perspective. Russell has to be conscious of his future and cannot risk coming back to the court too early.
“It’s an arthroscopic surgery, so the plan would be for him to return this season,” Marks said. “It’s definitely frustrating for D’Angelo. He’s going into this as another challenge. He knows he’ll bounce back from this and we have no doubts in our mind that he’ll be better and stronger than he was before.”
The Nets already lost Jeremy Lin to a season-ending injury, and now their point guard depth will be tested even further. Spencer Dinwiddie has started every game since Russell went down, with Isaiah Whitehead serving as the primary backup. Whitehead was supposed to shuttle back and forth between Brooklyn and their G-League team on Long Island, but it looks like the second-year guard will remain with the Nets at least until Russell is able to return.
In 12 games for the Nets this season, Russell led the team with 20.9 points and 5.7 assists per game. It’s going to be a tough road for the Nets without Lin and now Russell, two of the best players on the roster. Many other role players will have to step up if they want to have a chance to compete in the East this season.