Caris LeVert carted off after horrific leg injury in first half at Minnesota

Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Caris LeVert, the budding young star for the Brooklyn Nets, was taken off the court on a cart just before halftime Monday night with a horrific leg injury.

Late in the first half of Monday night’s game between the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves, Caris LeVert was carted off the court after sustaining a gruesome — and likely very serious — injury to his right leg.

LeVert was injured with 3.7 seconds remaining in the second quarter when he landed awkwardly while challenging a drive to the basket by Minnesota’s Josh Okogie.

Okogie and LeVert collided in the air, with LeVert called for a foul on the play, and LeVert was at an awkward angle as he landed.

When he did land, his right foot was canted at an unnatural angle and play was halted for several minutes while arena medical personnel attended to LeVert.

As he was being cared for, his teammates stared on from the bench — some very visibly distraught over their teammate — before several went to wish him well as he was taken from the court.

The Nets held a tight huddle with coach Kenny Atkinson in the center before returning to the court to finish the half.

Michael Grady of YES Network reported on the broadcast midway through the third quarter that LeVert had been transported by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis.

It is another in what has been a career full of tough breaks for LeVert.

His final two seasons at the University of Michigan were cut short with a recurring Jones fracture in his left foot and his stock plummeted in 2016 as he was unable to participate in the Draft Combine after having a third surgery on the foot in March of that year.

LeVert — once projected as a lottery pick — wound up being selected 20th overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 2016 NBA Draft, with his rights traded to Brooklyn in exchange for Thaddeus Young.

LeVert missed the first 20 games of his rookie season while still recovering from foot surgery before making his delayed debut on Dec. 7, 2016.

He wound up playing 57 games as a rookie, starting 26, and averaged 8.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game on shooting of .450/.321/.720.

In his second season, LeVert was pressed into service at point guard for a couple of months following injuries to Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell and his numbers increased to 12.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.3 minutes, with a shooting slash line of .435/.347/.711.

Fully healthy in the offseason, LeVert made huge strides over the summer and had opened the season as one of the breakout players in the NBA, averaging 19.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 30.8 minutes per game through the first 13 games for Brooklyn.

He was shooting .477/.327/.721 entering play Monday.

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Now he likely faces a long recovery period after sustaining an injury that was reminiscent of recent injuries to Paul George and Gordon Hayward with the visibly altered alignment of the lower leg.