Trail Blazers forward Joe Ingles underwent successful surgery Wednesday morning to reconstruct the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the team announced. Ingles will begin rehabbing the knee this week and is expected to make a full recovery.
Ingles, the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year award to former Jazz teammate Jordan Clarkson in 2020/21, was having a down year this season, averaging just 7.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .404/.347/.773 shooting in 45 games (24.9 MPG). However, he’s a savvy veteran with a high basketball IQ and was a locker-room leader for Utah.
Ingles expressed confidence in his ability to recover from the torn ACL to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon earlier this month. Ingles noted that his game has never relied on quickness or leaping ability, so it may not affect him as significantly as a player who does.
“Then the other part of it — and we joke about it — is my game,” Ingles told ESPN. “My game has never been based on athleticism, above the rim, or anything like that. I’m not writing off what this surgery is and what the rehab looks like, but everyone around the league knows how I play and what I can do.”
Portland recently promoted Trendon Watford from a two-way to a standard contract and chose to waive Dennis Smith Jr. instead of Ingles, which suggests that the team may still see value in Ingles’ Bird rights. However, with the 34-year-old out for the rest of the season, he remains a candidate to be cut in the coming weeks if the Blazers want to make another signing.