South Carolina’s Justin Minaya to undergo knee surgery

AP Photo/Stephen Dunn

South Carolina is still hopeful that Justin Minaya may return yet this season.

The 6-foot-5 forward will undergo knee surgery later this week and remains out indefinitely but not ruled out for the season, the school announced Tuesday.

Minaya and the Gamecocks were considering two courses of action – one which would have sidelined him for the season – and ultimately chose the option that could have him back, with coach Frank Martin estimating a potential January return when he initially announced the injury Monday.

“Ten minutes to go in practice, he jumped, landed and he just crumbled to the floor,” Martin said then, according to The State. “I thought it was really bad.”

South Carolina said it would provide an updated timetable after Minaya undergoes surgery.

The New Jersey native is averaging 7.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor.

His injury added to an already brutal start to the week for the Gamecocks, who got thrashed by 20 at home by Wofford on Monday evening. South Carolina has begun the season 3-3 with losses to Stoney Brook and Providence. The loss of Minaya will likely hit them most significantly around the basket, where he was shooting 72.2 percent on 2-point attempts and was one of the team’s best rebounders.