Timberwolves Rookie Justin Patton Undergoes Surgery for Foot Injury

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 27:  Justin Patton of the Minnesota Timberwolves is introduced to the media by head coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden on June 27, 2017 at the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx Courts at Mayo Clinic Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Tuesday that rookie Justin Patton will not play in Las Vegas Summer League and is out indefinitely after he suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot that required surgery, according to the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps and the Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune relayed the team's statement: 

The Timberwolves acquired Patton, 20, on draft night June 22 in the blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bulls that also netted them three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler. 

Selected 16th overall, Patton was a freshman sensation with the Creighton Bluejays before he made the jump to the NBA

In 35 games last season, he averaged 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest while shooting 67.6 percent from the field. 

Now that Patton is out indefinitely, the Timberwolves should deploy Cole Aldrich—assuming they don't trade him—as their primary backup behind Karl-Anthony Towns. 

During his first season in Minnesota, Aldrich averaged 1.7 points and 2.5 boards in 8.6 minutes per game. 

Gorgui Dieng and Taj Gibson—who recently agreed to a deal with Minnesota in free agency, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical—could also be asked to soak up time at the 5 if head coach Tom Thibodeau continues to shy away from playing Aldrich in a regular rotational role. 

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