Reggie Lynch, pegged to be the Gophers' starting center this fall, had surgery on his left knee Friday and is expected to miss at least a month, the team said in a statement.
Coach Richard Pitino wrote in his blog earlier this month that he expected Lynch, as well as fellow newcomer Akeem Springs, to have "an immediate impact."
That impact will have to be delayed while Lynch, a junior transfer from Illinois State, deals with another offseason ordeal. The 6-10, 260-pound Edina native had rotator cuff surgery in February. In May, Lynch was arrested on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct and was suspended from the team.
The Hennepin County attorney's office announced in August it would not file charges, but Lynch remained suspended while the university conducted its own investigation. "We have insufficient evidence to prove a crime was committed,'' Chuck Laszewski, spokesman for County Attorney's office, said then.
Lynch was reinstated and cleared for team activities after the university investigation ended earlier this month. University sources said there will be no further discipline.
Official team practices start next week, meaning the Gophers will get going without a player who statistically was one of the nation's top shot-blockers two seasons ago at Illinois State. He averaged 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks as a sophomore in 2014-15.
If Lynch misses only a month, he could be back in time for the Gophers' first game on Nov. 3 against Bemidji State, an exhibition game at Williams Arena.