Brooklyn Nets backup center Willie Reed suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb during the first half of Wednesday’s 109-105 preseason loss to the Boston Celtics, the team announced today. Reed played just five minutes in what was his preseason debut after battling a right quad strain.
Reed will undergo surgery Friday, after which a timetable for recovery will be assessed. For comparison, Bulls center Joakim Noah underwent the same injury and surgery in 2010, missing nine weeks of action.
Reed spoke about the injury on his Twitter account:
— Willie Reed (@ShowtimeReed33) October 15, 2015
The Nets signed Reed to a partially guaranteed deal this offseason for the veteran’s minimum, with his contract becoming fully guaranteed if he made the team’s opening night roster. He was slotted in as a backup center behind Brook Lopez and Andrea Bargnani, with a chance to cut into Bargnani’s minutes should Bargnani miss time due to his injured left hamstring or fall into Lionel Hollins’s doghouse.
The injury leaves just Brook Lopez — who has a lengthy injury history himself — as the only healthy center with a guaranteed contract on the roster.
Reed, who turned 25 in May, has played 144 career games in the D-League and has been called up to the NBA twice before, but has yet to play in an NBA game.