Gophers redshirt junior forward Eric Curry, who was coming back from two injury-plagued basketball seasons, will miss the 2019-20 season after suffering a right knee injury, the team officially announced Wednesday.
The injury — a torn right ACL, according to sources — occurred in practice Oct. 7. Curry is expected to have reconstructive surgery next week, and the recovery could last up to nine months.
The 6-9, 240-pound Curry was expected to be a valuable backup at both frontcourt positions. He was making progress after his minutes increased with full contact since the first official practice in late September.
“We are obviously disappointed in Eric’s recent setback,” coach Richard Pitino said in the news release. “He has worked so hard and stayed positive throughout this whole process. He is still a valuable member and leader on this team. I can’t wait to get him back, better than ever next year.”
Last season, Curry played in 15 games, but he missed the first 12 games following arthroscopic surgery on his other knee. He also missed the final seven games in 2018-19 to repair a torn ligament in his right foot. Curry’s original left-knee injury two years ago, when he tore multiple ligaments and his meniscus, caused him to miss the 2017-18 season.
The Gophers return sophomores Daniel Oturu and Jarvis Omersa and senior Michael Hurt in the frontcourt. They also added senior Drexel transfer Alihan Demir and freshmen Sam Freeman and Isaiah Ihnen.
Curry averaged 5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Gophers in 49 career games, including seven starts. He’s the only player left on the current roster who was a major contributor on the U’s NCAA tournament team in 2016-17.