MINNEAPOLIS — The next stanza in Shabazz Muhammad’s development will have to wait.
The Timberwolves forward will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in the middle finger of his left (shooting) hand. A surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., will perform the operation on Monday.
Muhammad’s finger became caught in teammate Andrew Wiggins’ jersey earlier this week. He played sparingly in Friday’s win against Phoenix, scoring seven points and pulling down seven rebounds.
The 14th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft was expected to serve as Minnesota’s sixth man during the second half of the season.
It’s been a resurgent sophomore campaign for a guy who played in just 37 games last year and spent some time in the D-League. This season, Muhammad averages 13.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest.
The 2015 Rising Stars Challenge participant missed 16 games earlier in the season with an outer oblique strain. He’s not the only Wolf to miss significant time, but he is the first in an injury-sideswiped campaign to sustain a season-ending ailment.
Point guard Ricky Rubio (sprained ankle), shooting guard Kevin Martin (fractured wrist) and center Nikola Pekovic (wrist and ankle soreness) all went down in November but have returned since the New Year.
Coach and president Flip Saunders announced earlier Saturday that power forward Anthony Bennett will miss at least two weeks with a sprained right ankle. Forward Robbie Hummel remains out indefinitely with a hand injury.
The Wolves will practice Sunday before heading to Houston for Monday’s game against the Rockets.