Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe will miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery, the team announced Tuesday.
The 26-year-old suffered a torn left meniscus in Saturday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and his return was going to depend on how much surgeons would be able to repair the torn segment. If they had only been able to cut out the damaged piece, he could have played again this season, but a full repair – while making the knee stronger in the long run – requires a much longer recovery.
Surgeons were able to perform a full repair, meaning Bledsoe will be out for the year.
The Suns said in a statement that his “prognosis is for a return to full playing status for the start of training camp next fall.”
Bledsoe had a repair done to his right meniscus in 2011, and had the same one removed after re-injuring it in 2014, but recovered to play 81 games in the 2014-15 season.
This year, he was averaging 20.4 points and 6.1 assists in a double point-guard system with Brandon Knight, who in averaging 19.8 points and 5.2 assists. The scheme has let the Suns play at a high tempo – they are third in the league in possessions per game – but they haven’t been able to find any consistent scoring outside from their frontcourt and are just 12-21.
Rookie Devin Booker is expected to replace Bledsoe in the starting lineup, playing as a conventional shooting guard alongside Knight.