Gophers coach Tubby Smith said Friday that Mo Walker was “getting better” after knee surgery, but noted that it could be some time before fans can expect to see the forward on the court again.

“I couldn’t speculate on how many practices he’d need (before he plays),” Smith said. “He hasn’t been on the court since last December. He hasn’t played basketball since last December. So that’s a long time. And when you have that type of surgery and reconstructive knee surgery – the bottom line is, what’s best for him. It may be best that he doesn’t play this year. If he can get back that’s good, but if he can’t, then we’re going to do what’s best for Maurice Walker.”

The 6-10, 289-pound Walker played 12 games last season before tearing his posterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee in December, and averaged 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in less than 10 minutes a game. He missed the rest of the season and had successful reconstructive surgery in January.

“It is weird, you know, he’s so big and we definitely needed him last year,” Trevor Mbakwe said last week at Big Ten Media Day. “Coming from an injury like that, it isn’t easy. We’re excited to have him back whenever that is.”


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