Warriors center Kevon Looney underwent successful surgery on Tuesday to repair a core muscle injury and is expected to be ready for the start of next season, the team stated.
Looney, 24, missed 45 games this season with various injuries, including a hamstring strain, a neuropathic condition and, most recently, an abdominal strain that led to the surgery, performed in Philadelphia.
He will start rehabilitation straightaway in what will be an extended offseason after the NBA postponed play on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Having gone to the NBA Finals each season since entering the league in 2015, this will be the longest off-season of Looney’s career.
Looney’s agent, Todd Ramasar, told the Bay Area News Group last month, “This is a time for his injuries to heal. And really with the timeline that we have, as it relates to this, he should have a significant time to rest.
“Not to say that he’s taking time off. He’s still working hard and doing what he needs to do.”
In 20 games this season, Looney averaged 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game.
Entering the campaign, Looney was expected to take over as the Warriors’ starting center after signing a three-year, $15 million contract last summer. But Looney started just four matches as injuries derailed his season.
Marquese Chriss, the starting center by the time the league postponed play indefinitely after a player tested positive for COVID-19, is the favorite to start at center next season, with Looney likely coming off the bench when healthy.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who has repeatedly sung Looney’s praises over the past couple of seasons, had been hopeful the 24-year-old would be able to return this year before the NBA season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.