Gophers big man Reggie Lynch, who is ineligible this season after transferring to Minnesota this offseason, underwent surgery on his right rotator cuff and is expected to be out until midsummer, coach Richard Pitino said Monday.
Pitino said that Lynch, an anticipated starter on next year’s team, made the decision along with his family to have the surgery that will keep him off the court until “July or August” after dealing with some shoulder discomfort.
“He was practicing the week of surgery; it wasn’t one thing that just happened,” Pitino said. “They wanted to fix it so he could be 100 percent next season. It’s something he wanted to go ahead and do, and we supported it.”
Lynch joined the Gophers last summer after two years at Illinois State, where he was a two-year starter and led the nation in blocks percentage a season ago.
Pitino downplayed the procedure, noting the timing with less than two weeks left of the regular season and the fact that Lynch has been able to practice with the team for most of the year. In the meantime, Lynch will focus on conditioning that does not involve using his arm, Pitino said.
“I think staying in shape is important,” he said. “Cardiovascular-wise he can still do a lot. I thought he really got in good shape, worked on his body. But I know he’ll still be able to do some of those things. It’s a long season but if you get him back on the court by July or August, that gives you a couple of months before you really get rolling.”
Jordan Murphy was named Big Ten freshman of the week for the second time this season. The 6-6 forward put up 17 points and 11 rebounds — his seventh double-double of the season — against then-No. 6 Maryland on Thursday. Murphy, who ranks sixth in the conference in rebounding with 7.8 a game, has averaged 14 points a game in the past four games.