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Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie had reconstruction surgery on his partially torn anterior cruciate ligament Monday morning. The Nets announced the surgery, which was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
The Nets didn’t offer a timetable for recovery, but experts that spoke with The Post said the nature of the surgery would make it season-ending. Dinwiddie’s ACL was only partially torn instead of fully, but getting a reconstruction instead of a repair all but eliminated any hopes of a return for 2020-21.
“Not if an ACL reconstruction is being done,” Manhattan Orthopedic Care founder Dr. Armin Tehrany told The Post. “There are situations where a partial ACL tear could be kept intact and sometimes if it was say a repair if the ACL is reparable as opposed to a reconstruction. The risk there is there is up to a 20 percent failure rate with a repair as opposed to reconstruction.
“(A reconstruction) is the right thing. To me that’s usually what is going to get done in 2020. Repairing an ACL is now an option [but] very unlikely.
“If anything the way to describe expectations for high-level athletes for reconstruction — it’d be better for him to wait nine or 12 months to get back to a high-functional level than six-to-nine (months). Its almost 100 percent that it’s a season-ending injury.”
The Nets announced that Dinwiddie will begin rehabilitation next week and is expected to make a full recovery. The guard posted a picture on Instagram Sunday of himself already working out, presumably at HSS Training Center.
Dinwiddie had started the first three games of the season in the backcourt alongside Kyrie Irving. He averaged 6.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and three assists in 21.4 minutes per game. His injury forced Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot into the unfamiliar role as a starter, and has robbed the Nets of their most versatile player.
Brooklyn’s defense has fallen apart since his injury. After rolling to easy wins in their first two games, the Nets have lost four of their next five, beginning with the Charlotte tilt where Dinwiddie went down.
“He’s almost the forgotten guy in a sense when you throw him out there in the lineup, but he’s about as well-rounded a player as we have along with Kevin and Ky,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “He has great size. … He defends well for his position, he’s one of our best athletes, and he can score, play-make, handle the ball and brings a lot to the table. So we miss a lot. He fills a lot of gaps for our team.”
Brooklyn led the NBA in both Defensive Rating and Net Rating through the first two games with a healthy Dinwiddie. Over the last five they’ve been 25th and 24th respectively, a concern since the versatile guard isn’t expected back this season.