North Carolina State guard Lorenzo Brown will undergo exploratory surgery on Tuesday to pinpoint the source of what has caused discomfort in his right knee. The extent of the injury is unknown at this time, according to the Fayetteville Observer, and no timetable for a return can be posited until the operation is complete.
This could potentially be a big blow for Mark Gottfried’s team, which will enter next season in an unfamiliar position: as the odds-on favorite to win the ACC. Brown helped guide NC State to the Sweet 16 as a sophomore last season, and the prognosis for next year’s squad may be even brighter.
The Wolfpack return four of five starters and the top-four scorers from a team that won 24 games a season ago. The program is also welcoming a top-five recruiting class laced with three McDonald’s All-Americans and spearheaded by combo guard Rodney Purvis.
Brown averaged 12.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game last season as the starting point guard for State. His on-court decision making improved measurably from his freshman campaign, while his mid-range game remained one of the best in the ACC.
Early Sunday morning, PackInsider.com had reported that Brown aggravated the meniscus in his right knee, but the site has since retracted the story. Even if Tuesday’s exploratory surgery finds that the meniscus is torn, Brown could be back in as few as six weeks after undergoing a second kind of surgery, arthroscopic.
Coincidentally, NC State begins a 10-day trip to Spain in six weeks—where the Wolfpack will play several formal scrimmages against overseas competition—as part of a team-building exercise. Unless Tuesday’s operation shows a clean bill of health, it is unlikely Brown will partake in games. In that event, Brown may still travel with the team, provided he is physically able and the trip does not conflict with his rehabilitation.
Busting Brackets will keep you apprised of all the latest developments concerning Brown as they come out.