Gophers sophomore guard Amir Coffey is on the road to a long recovery process after successful surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday.
Coffey, a 6-foot-8 Hopkins native, was announced last week as being out for the rest of the season after he continued to have pain in his shoulder. His timetable for recovery after surgery is expected to be four to six months.
"With Amir it was more so, it wasn't getting better," Gophers coach Richard Pitino said this week. "We put him through some noncontact shooting drills and he looked fine. Because he's a lefty and it didn't affect his legs."
But Pitino said during a defensive close out drill last week, Coffey couldn't lift his right arm without discomfort.
"Amir is a tough kid, a competitor," Pitino said. "You never question those things. It just wasn't getting better and so we talked about it. Let's just do this now and focus on your rehab, so that you're ready to go. It's going to be a long process for Amir. The biggest thing is let's get him back and ready in the fall."
After a Jan. 3 victory over Illinois, Coffey was diagnosed with a humeral avulsion glenohumeral ligament (HAGL) lesion, which is a ligament tear near the front of the shoulder. He returned to play Jan. 20 vs. Ohio State and at home Jan. 23 vs. Northwestern. But Coffey reinjured his shoulder after a dunk in the second half vs. the Wildcats.
Coffey missed his 10th game of the season and fifth straight in a Feb. 13 loss against Michigan State before it was decided he should sit out the rest of the season.
He averaged career highs in points (14.0), rebounds (4.1), assists (3.3), field goal percentage (47.5) and three-point percentage (36.8) in 18 games this season. He also scored in double figures 16 times, including a season-high 23 points in a Nov. 29 loss against No. 10 Miami (Fla.).
Minnesota seniors Nate Mason, Bakary Konate and Gaston Diedhiou were honored before Wednesday night's game against Iowa. Pitino's first full recruiting class with the Gophers four years ago consisted of guards Mason and Carlos Morris, forwards Josh Martin and Diedhiou and center Konate.
The five-player class wasn't highly rated at 64th nationally and ninth in the Big Ten by 247Sports.com. Martin transferred away from the program after seven games in 2014-15. Morris, a junior college transfer, played only one full season. Mason, Diedhiou and Konate are the last remaining players from that 2014 class.
Konate, a 6-11 Mali native, has started 35 games in his career, but he averaged just 2.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 114 games. Diedhiou, a 6-10 Senegal native, has been a rarely used reserve averaging just 6.1 minutes in 55 career games. Mason, a 6-2 Georgia native, entered Wednesday with 1,668 career points, which ranks seventh in team history. He's also one of only two U players with 500 career assists.