The Minnesota Golden Gophers will monitor a knee injury to their projected starting center as they start their preparations for the 2016 season. It’s an injury that will demand the attention of head coach Richard Pitino, who could be without his top post player for a portion of the Gophers’ early season schedule.
According to CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, Lynch will be out for the next month with a left knee injury. That sets Lynch’s return timetable set to late October at best as the Gophers starting center is now in doubt for the start of the 2016 season.
Lynch sat out last season for the Gophers, but the Illinois State transfer is expected to be a key part of Minnesota’s plans this season after a year on the bench. The former Missouri Valley Conference standout is poised to have a key role in the Big Ten for the Gophers once he gets healthy.
If healthy, Lynch has the potential to be a productive player for the Gophers in what will be his first season with the team. Lynch led the MVC in blocks in his two seasons at Illinois State along with providing 9.5 points per game during his sophomore season. Those are numbers the Gophers certainly could use after a woeful 2015 season that ended with a finish near the basement of the Big Ten.
The first step for Lynch will now be to get healthy before the Gophers begin to play meaningful games. Lynch won’t be rushed back to participate in the early season schedule, but his health will be a key factor in the Gophers’ chances of an improvement from last season.