UCLA will be without guard Prince Ali for roughly three months after he underwent knee surgery to fix a torn meniscus in his left knee recently, the school announced. Ali originally sustained the injury on July 8 while playing in an open gymnasium.
Ali will be re-evaluated to check the progression of his recovery in about four months, meaning he could be off of the court into the month of November. Still, Ali will likely only miss a few games.
As a freshman, The 6-foot-3 guard made a total of 29 appearances for the Bruins. He averaged 3.9 points and 1.1 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game throughout the season.
Though Ali has helped the Bruins to many wins, he won’t be a totally irreplaceable loss. He seemed to fade as last season went on, not looking as much like the star player he once was. UCLA has no shortage of backcourt options with Isaac Hamilton, Aaron Holiday and Bryce Alford returning this season. The team has also recently added five-star point guard Lonzo Ball, who will be looking to make an impact early on.
The small setback due to the injury will cause Ali to have to really step up to get himself noticed, considering that he has not yet totally established himself as an essential piece of the backcourt. But if he can get healthy and maintain, he may just become one of the biggest forces in the Pac-12 conference.