Culver will undergo arthroscopic surgery on May 7 that will include “debridement of scar tissue and loose body” in his right ankle, the Wolves announced, and said Culver would miss the rest of the season.
“He’s still a big part of our future as we see it,” coach Chris Finch said. “So we want to be sure that we give him the best chance to have the proper preparation going into next year, and it’s important.”
It has been a lost year for the second-year guard, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft and saw his production and minutes decrease from his rookie year to now. He averaged 9.2 points and 23.9 minutes per game last season and just 5.3 points and 14.7 minutes this season.
Culver has not played much under Finch and sat out the last six games. He initially injured the ankle against Golden State on Jan. 25 and missed the next 17 games before returning to the lineup. Culver never scored in double digits after returning.
Finch said he could tell the injury was a problem for Culver.
“It’s been obvious. He’s just never been able to settle into a groove,” Finch said. “He’s tried. Looks like he’s lacking a little bit of explosiveness there on a consistent basis”
Culver initially tried to rest the injury and avoid surgery but after imaging revealed a loose body in the ankle.
The Wolves also said Malik Beasley (hamstring) resumed on-court activities Tuesday and will be evaluated “weekly.” His hamstring injury could keep him out the rest of the season after an initial timetable of four to six weeks was given on April 5.
Finch said he was hopeful Beasley could return for at least a few games at the end of the season, which arrives May 16.
“That’s all about when he’s ready,” Finch said. “We wouldn’t do it just for the last game. I don’t think that would make much sense, but Malik is a competitor. He wants to play. He wants to be out there with his teammates. I think, psychologically, he wants to go into the offseason knowing that he’s in game-ready shape.”