After leading Cretin-Derham Hall to a state championship in March, Daniel Oturu’s next big step was getting on the court with the Gophers this summer.
But that will have to wait since he’ll be sidelined until the fall after having shoulder surgery Friday.
In his first practice at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland last month, the four-star big man suffered a right shoulder injury and was sidelined for the rest of the week, including for the game vs. Team USA and Apple Valley’s Tre Jones on national television.
Oturu's shoulder needs reconstructive surgery. The typical timeline for a full recovery is 4-6 months.
The Gophers coaching staff and Oturu are expecting he will be ready once the season starts in November. He should compete with redshirt sophomore Eric Curry and redshirt senior Matz Stockman at center as a freshman.
“I think he’s one of the best high school centers in the country,” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. “I think he’s a terrific kid, comes from a great program. Another guy who cares about winning. You never know until he comes to your campus and you work with him every day, but I’m excited about all three (Oturu, Jarvis Omersa and Gabe Kalscheur).”
Oturu's injury is similar to what former Maple Grove guard Brad Davison suffered and played through during his freshman year at Wisconsin this season.
His shoulder continued to pop during Big Ten play, so he eventually had surgery following the season. Davison reportedly is ahead of schedule in his recovery and should be cleared to play by September.
This is a critical offseason for the Gophers with getting healthy. Besides Oturu, starting guards Amir Coffey (shoulder) and Dupree McBrayer (stress reaction leg) and Curry (knee) are all recovering from injuries.
Coffey had successful shoulder surgery in February and is already able to do some light dribbling. Curry hasn’t been cleared for full contact, but he’s been shooting and doing individual workouts for a few months.