Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler suffered an injury to his right knee in the third quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets on Friday.
Sunday, Minnesota announced that the All-Star guard underwent surgery on his meniscus. In an official statement, the team said the operation was successful and that Butler was operated on by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The Timberwolves will give updates on his progress over the course of a rehabilitation process, but he has been ruled out indefinitely for now.
Butler reportedly told his inner circle on Saturday that he was optimistic about the possibility of returning before the playoffs.
Butler's longtime teammate Taj Gibson echoed his hopeful outlook, telling reporters, "I've been around this a long time. "The bright side is it isn't his ACL, so that's a good thing."
Before the injury, Butler was averaging 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 56 games, helping the Timberwolves climb to a third-place position in the Western Conference. Upset that the team's season could be ruined by a significant injury, some fans were angry to see Butler hopping around without assistance after he left the game, but there has been no confirmation that added to the severity of his injury.
Despite having to move around on crutches, Butler did make time to meet with a Make-A-Wish Foundation fan whose dream it was to meet the All-Star.
Some fans are pointing out the irony in Butler suffering an injury after requesting to sit out the All-Star game to rest his body for the second part of the season.