Golden State Warriors forward David Lee underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury in his pelvic area and is expected to be back in action by early August, the team confirmed over the weekend.
"He's fine," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News on Sunday.
Questions about Lee's status came up after he was not included on the United States' 19-man training camp roster for the FIBA World Cup. Like Warriors teammate Andre Iguodala, Lee informed Team USA that he would not be physically able to compete. Guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will attend the camp and try to make the 12-man roster that will travel to Spain.
Though it's unclear when Lee suffered the injury, it may be tied to his late-season hamstring ailment. He missed eight of the regular season's last 11 games after suffering a hamstring strain in late March. He was able to come back and play during the Warriors' first-round series against the Clippers but was obviously at limited capacity.
The two-time All-Star averaged 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in the seven-game thriller. Pelvic injuries and hamstring injuries are very often intertwined due to their proximity in the body.
Expecting Lee back in early August gives him plenty of time to get his body back into shape before training camp. Most teams begin training camp in early October.
Perhaps more interesting is whether Lee's surgery will have an effect on the Warriors' offseason roster moves. Lee has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the summer, specifically in Golden State's pursuit of Timberwolves forward Kevin Love. That deal is at an impasse at the moment as the Warriors' reluctance to give up Thompson has proven a hurdle the two sides cannot get over.
It's unclear how aware Minnesota's front office was about Lee's status during negotiations. This is the third straight offseason he's needed a summer procedure. Given that he's under contract for two more seasons at over $30 million, the mounting injuries may cause Flip Saunders and Co. to balk even more about taking on the onerous potential deal.
Either way, with no deal in sight, Lee has plenty of time to recover in peace. If the Warriors are correct about the surgery being minor, there should be no issue should the two sides reconvene and attempt to hammer out the proposed blockbuster.
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