Richard Pitino's newest challenge as head coaching of the rising Golden Gophers men's basketball team is to find a way to win without sophomore power forward Eric Curry.
The Gophers announced Thursday that Curry was lost for the season when he suffered a bad knee injury during a pick-up game early Thursday. The extent of his injury: Torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee.
“Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, and we are certainly disheartened by the news,” Pitino said in a statement. “Eric had a tremendous summer, but I am positive he will continue to get better as he recovers from this setback.”
Curry's late-summer season-ending injury is similar to the blow the Gophers suffered last summer when Davonte Fitzgerald was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Minnesota went on to finish fourth in the Big Ten and reach the NCAA Tournament.
As a freshman last season, Curry played in all 34 games as a backup power forward and center, averaging 5.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game.
His stats don't jump off the page but he was expected to play a bigger role with the team this season.