Forward Vlatko Cancar, who sustained a torn ACL in his left knee earlier this month, recently underwent ACL reconstruction surgery, the Nuggets announced (Twitter link via Mike Singer of The Denver Post).
While Cancar is officially out indefinitely, ACL tears typically have a recovery timeline of 12-plus months, so it seems highly likely that he’ll be sidelined for the entire 2023/24 season.
Cancar suffered the injury while playing in an exhibition game for Team Slovenia as it prepares for the 2023 World Cup. The 26-year-old has had strong international showings for his native country in recent years, including during the 2020 Olympics and last year’s EuroBasket.
It’s a very unfortunate setback for both Cancar and the Nuggets, who lost some bench depth this offseason and now will be without Cancar as well.
A former draft-and-stash second-round pick (49th overall in 2017), Cancar emerged as a semi-regular rotation player in 2022/23, averaging 5.0 PPG and 2.1 RPG on .476/.374/.927 shooting in 60 games (14.8 MPG). He was not in the team’s shortened postseason rotation, however, playing 10 total minutes over five games during Denver’s championship run.
Cancar will make a guaranteed $2.2MM in ’23/24, and the Nuggets hold a $2.3MM team option on his contract for ’24/25.