Minnesota’s basketball season is a month from tipping off, but Richard Pitino’s club has already been handed a potentially devastating setback.
Pitino announced on Twitter on Friday that forward Davonte Fitzgerald tore the ACL in his left knee at practice Thursday and will miss the season. A transfer from Texas A&M, Fitzgerald was expected to provide a boost to the Gophers frontcourt.
Fitzgerald, a redshirt junior, suffered a knee injury — reportedly a torn ACL — in his right knee in 2014.
In the Twitter post, Pitino called Fitzgerald “without a doubt the hardest worker in the program” and someone who “would have been an extremely valuable piece this season.”
Pitino also recounted what Fitzgerald was like during the practice in which he injured his left knee.
— Richard Pitino (@MNCoachPitino) October 7, 2016
Fitzgerald missed the 2015-16 season because he had to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Fitzgerald averaged 3.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore with Texas A&M.