Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a labral tear in his right shoulder, according to a statement released by the team on Monday.
Morant reacted to the news Monday on social media.
Morant sustained the injury during practice on Saturday and underwent an MRI on Monday.
Morant missed the first 25 games of the season while serving an NBA suspensionfor displaying a gun on social media — his second such suspension in less than a year, after missing eight games last season for a similar offense.
He returned from the 25-game suspension and averaged 25.1 points in nine games, with the Grizzlies going 6-3 in those contests.
The Grizzlies are 7-20 without Morant this season, are 4 1/2 games out of the final play-in spot in the Western Conference and now have to go the rest of the way without their best player. A playoff push, with Morant, didn’t seem completely unreasonable. Without him, the long odds just got much longer.
It seems as though the severity of the shoulder issue caught the Grizzlies off-guard. On Sunday, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant was dealing with soreness and even went as far as to say he it would be a game-time decision against the Suns.
Morant is in the first season of a five-year, $197 million contract. He’s earning about $34 million this season, though lost about $7.6 million of that because of the 25-game suspension.
Morant’s 25-game suspension without pay was announced in June. Commissioner Adam Silver handed that penalty down three months after issuing what became an eight-game ban after Morant held a gun in a suburban Denver nightclub while streaming himself live on Instagram.
Another livestream in May, this time while sharing the front seat of a car with one of his friends, showed Morant displaying a weapon again – leading to the 25-game suspension.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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