Rookie Lonnie Walker IV suffered a right medial meniscus tear in Friday’s preseason victory over the Detroit Pistons.
In the final moments in the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ rout of the Pistons, rookie Lonnie Walker IV elevated for a jump shot and injured his knee. Today, NBA.com writer John Schuhmann reporter that Walker suffered a torn right medial meniscus and will miss six-to-eight weeks.
Spurs announce that Lonnie Walker IV has a torn meniscus. Surgery Monday.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) October 6, 2018
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While this is certainly not ideal, Walker’s injury shouldn’t have any immediate impact on the active roster headed into the season. The product of Miami has impressed with his raw ability and athleticism through Summer League and limited preseason action, but already wasn’t likely to earn significant playing time this season.
This isn’t his first time dealing with this injury. In July of 2017, Walker suffered the same injury in his right knee during practice in Miami. In case you were wondering how he responded to that injury, Walker said the following in a tweet:
“I promise this will not slow me down. Minor setback for a major comeback
As concerning as it may be for a rookie to deal with the same knee injury twice in a row, San Antonio was aware of the gamble they took when drafting Walker with the No. 18 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Now under the guidance of San Antonio’s elite training staff, Walker will rehabilitate and return at a cautious pace. There’s very little need to establish his role this early in the offseason and shouldn’t displace the organization’s timeline for Walker’s development. He was bound for an extended stay in the G League this season regardless of his injury.
Head coach Gregg Popovich has an extended supply of talented young players that have worked their way up in the rotation by spending time in Austin. As disconcerting as this may come off at first, it shouldn’t cause too much dismay for Spurs fans.
For now, the Spurs will sift focus toward getting their piece in place to begin the NBA season in 11 days. They’ll open the season against Minnesota on Oct. 17 in the Alamo City.
Walker’s absence isn’t ideal, but it fits the normal development timeline of a young Spur and shouldn’t cause any major disruptions over the next two months. We’ve come to find how tough and determined Walker truly is, he shouldn’t have a problem getting himself back to playing form in no time.