Bjelica (foot) is set to undergo surgery Tuesday to address a fractured navicular bone.
The Timberwolves had already ruled Bjelica out for the season after he suffered the left foot injury last week, but the team won't have an official timetable for his return until after the surgery is performed. Given the severity of the injury, it wouldn't be surprising if Bjelica was sidelined for most of the offseason while recovering from the procedure. The 28-year-old finished his second NBA campaign with averages of 6.2 points (on 42.4% shooting), 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.9 three-pointers in 18.3 minutes per game over 65 appearances.
Bjelica (foot) has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Timberwolves are listing Bjelica's injury as a left foot issue, and while the extent of the injury hasn't been released, the team's decision to rule him out for the season implies that he's looking at a multi-week recovery timeline. Bjelica is expected to seek another opinion by a specialist over the coming few days before a treatment method is determined, so it remains to be seen if he'll need surgery or if rest and rehabilitation will be enough to remedy the issue. Either way, with Bjelica sidelined for the season, Shabazz Muhammad looks to be the main beneficiary as the Timberwolves' top option off the bench. Cole Aldrich or Adreian Payne could also enter the rotation on a more regular basis as a result, though neither would likely be in store for substantial playing time.
Bjelica was wearing a walking boot and on crutches when he exited the locker room following Wednesday's game and coach Tom Thibodeau indicated that he's slated for an MRI on Thursday, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Bjelica exited Wednesday's contest with a reported ankle injury, but the early indications don't appear to be positive. More information on the extent of his injury and availability moving forward should surface following his scheduled MRI on Thursday. Should he miss additional time, Lance Stephenson could see increased minutes in the final game of his second 10-day contract with the club.
Bjelica suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter of Wednesday's game against the Celtics and is doubtful to return, Jerry Zgoda of the Minnesota Star Tribune reports.
Bjelica played just 11 minutes before the injury, finishing with three points (1-4 FG, 1-2 3Pt), four rebounds, one assist and a turnover. He'll likely have additional tests on the ankle following the game, which should give us a better indication if he'll miss additional time. The Timberwolves' next matchup comes against the Heat on Friday, so Bjelica will likely go into the game with a questionable designation.
Bjelica registered 16 points (6-7 FG,1-2 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal across 29 minutes in Monday's 119-104 victory over the Wizards.
Bjelica once again received extended minutes and turned it into his fourth double-double in the last seven contests. However, Monday night stands out as one of his stronger performances because of his efficiency from the floor, something he hasn't showed (42 percent shooting percentage over the past 10 games). If coach Tom Thibodeau continues to turn to Bjelica as the sixth-man, look for his season averages to skyrocket down the stretch.
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