According to a report, Brooklyn Nets sixth man Spencer Dinwiddie will have surgery Monday to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb, will miss 3-6 weeks.
According to Wojnarowski, Dinwiddie is following the recommendation he received from two different specialists and is expected to be out three to six weeks.
Dinwiddie missed his first game of the season Friday, when the Nets rallied from a first-half deficit to beat the New York Knicks 109-99. It was Brooklyn’s sixth straight win overall and their eighth straight at Barclays Center.
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This season, Dinwiddie has been the leader of one of the NBA’s best bench units, averaging 17.2 points per game. The Brooklyn reserves are second in the NBA, averaging 47.6 points per game as a group, trailing only the LA Clippers’ 51.1 points per game mark.
The Nets’ other backups rose to “next man up” occasion against the Knicks, as the bench piled up 72 points in the win. Two-way player Theo Pinson, an undrafted rookie, scored a career-high 19 points, Shabazz Napier added 18 and Ed Davis matched a season-high with 17 points.
Still, it’s yet another long-term absence for a team that has not had a full roster once this season in 50 games.
Brooklyn opened the season with DeMarre Carroll (ankle surgery), Allen Crabbe (sprained ankle), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (right adductor), Shabazz Napier (right hamstring) and Alan Williams (right ankle) out.
They got Crabbe back for the second game of the season, but lost Treveon Graham in the same game to a left hamstring strain that sidelined him for 37 games.
Hollis-Jefferson and Napier returned after missing the first three games. Carroll missed the first 11 games, but Rodions Kurucs missed five games in late October with a sprained ankle.
Hollis-Jefferson missed a game with a sprained ankle on Nov. 16. Joe Harris was out with a tight adductor for three games in late November and early December.
Crabbe has been out since Dec. 12 with a bruised right knee and even rookie Dzanan Musa — who had gotten the bulk of his playing time with the team’s NBA G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets — has been out since Dec. 16 with a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
Carroll and Harris missed a game at Boston earlier this month, Hollis-Jefferson sat for seven games from late December to mid-January with another adductor problem and Jared Dudley has been out for the last seven games with a strained hamstring.
Yet during all of that, the Nets have put together the best 24-game stretch in franchise history, going 19-5 since Dec. 7 with separate seven- and six-game winning streaks during that span.
Musa and Crabbe are nearing returns, with Musa participating in a practice with Long Island this week. LeVert is doing everything put 5-on-5 drills in practice and could be back at some point next month.
Through it all, Brooklyn (27-23) has persevered, climbing to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings and now trails the fifth-place Celtics by four games, with the Celtics hosting the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors Saturday night before entertaining the Nets on Monday.
Seventh-place Miami is 2½ games behind Brooklyn and eighth-place Charlotte trails by three games.
Behind the Hornets are the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons, two games behind Charlotte, and the Orlando Magic trail the final playoff spot by 3½ games.
The work general manager Sean Marks did over the summer to improve Brooklyn’s depth is paying off many times over and coach Kenny Atkinson has to be at least considered a contender for Coach of the Year honors for the way he’s been able to adapt to changing parts all season long.
Before Friday’s game, Atkinson confirmed the thumb problem is something Dinwiddie had been dealing with for several weeks, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
"“It was about two months ago. He tweaked it a little and progressively it got worse. But I don’t think it was just one instance.”"
As for a return for Dinwiddie, Atkinson — as is the Nets’ policy in injury matters — would not speculate.
"“Not going to go there. I don’t think we’re ready to say that right now. I’m not going to speculate any further. I’ll just leave it there. We have to determine, him and his family and our doctors.”"
In Wednesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, Dinwiddie scored 29 points, but also appeared to aggravate the thumb when fouled in the fourth quarter by Magic defender Jonathon Simmons.
Dinwiddie was having a breakout season on top of last season’s rise that finished with him placing third in the voting for Most Improved Player.
In addition to his scoring, Dinwiddie has averaged 5.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game, while improving his shooting numbers from 38.7 percent overall and 32.6 percent from 3-point range to 46.1 percent and 36.6 percent respectively this season.