On Wednesday, it was revealed that guard Josh Newkirk had surgery on his left knee to repair the lateral meniscus and a microfracture. As a result, Newkirk is expected to miss four to six months.
The news isn't great, but it's not the end of the world, either. Head coach Jamie Dixon expects Newkirk back for not only the start of the season, but for practices this fall prior to games starting. While it's true that he will miss the summer league games (assuming he was planning to participate), there's a good chance he's on the court for the team's opener.
That's not to suggest there's no reason for concern. The biggest question for me is how the surgery will affect his movement. So much of Newkirk's game is flying up and down the court and it's fair to wonder how he'll respond in the aftermath of the procedure - at least early on.
The other thing that I'm not crazy about is him losing the chance to get better over the summer. His game, for whatever reason, took a step back last season. Newkirk slightly improved his average from 4.6 points to 5.9 points per game and his point-per-minute production slightly increased from .27 to .28. His shooting percentage dropped dramatically, though, from 46% to under 38%. His turnover rate per minute also increased while his rebounding rate per minute dropped. It would have been nice for Newkirk to have the summer to work on continuing to develop his game.
Overall, though, it's better that the surgery happened now than later in the year closer to the season.
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