CLEVELAND — As the Cavaliers attempt to take that next step, one of their bright young stars will unfortunately not be with them.
The club announced Friday that Collin Sexton will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The 22-year-old guard underwent the procedure Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic "after additional evaluation over the past week determined that surgery was the best course of action to treat the affected area."
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Sexton originally suffered the injury on Nov. 7 in New York, but it seemed he might be able to return in a matter of weeks or months. Instead, the former first-round pick's 2021-22 campaign ends after just 11 games, with an average of 16 points per contest over that span.
Sexton had been the Cavs' leading scorer the previous two years with 20.8 and 24.3 points per game, respectively, leading to talk of a possible max contract extension this past offseason. Although both sides expressed a desire make a deal, they could not reach an agreement before the NBA-mandated deadline, meaning Sexton will become a restricted free agent this summer.
In the shadow of contract talks and with more talent added to the roster, Sexton's workload had decreased a bit, but he still played a major role in Cleveland's surprising 7-4 start. The team is just 2-4 since he hurt his knee, although they have also been hit by injuries and illnesses to fellow contributors like Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Lauri Markkanen.
Veteran guard Ricky Rubio has replaced Sexton in the starting lineup over the last week and a half. The 31-year-old is averaging 15.0 points and 6.4 assists per game in his first season with the Cavaliers.