ACL tear agony for Aussie NBA star Ingles


Utah Jazz have confirmed Joe Ingles has a torn ACL in his left knee and is sidelined indefinitely.
Utah Jazz have confirmed Joe Ingles has a torn ACL in his left knee and is sidelined indefinitely.

Olympic bronze-medal winning basketball star Joe Ingles will miss the remainder of the NBA season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

A key piece for the title-contending Jazz, Ingles was driving to the basket in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves when his left knee buckled in a non-contact incident.

The crowd went silent as Ingles writhed in pain and his teammates surrounded him on the court, before he was taken away in the arms of staff.

Scans unfortunately confirming the worst with the Jazz revealing Ingles will have surgery in the coming weeks — the recovery period from such a procedure is generally nine to 12 months.

“The MRI revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee with no other structural damage,” a Jazz statement read.

“Ingles will remain out indefinitely with surgery taking place in the next several weeks. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.”

The 34-year-old is off contract at season’s end — having played 635 out of 650 games since arriving at the Jazz in 2014-15 and becoming their all-time three-point leader.

Ingles entered Sunday’s game averaging 7.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 40.8 per cent from the floor and a career-worst 35.1 per cent from deep, down from a career-high 45.1 per cent last season.

The injury could cost him millions of dollars, coming off his $18 million one-year deal with Utah.

It is possible Ingles has played his last game in Utah, who will become a free agent after the season, or his expiring contract could be valuable in a trade.

Acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers, Ingles had starred for Israel’s EuroLeague champions Maccabi Tel Aviv and also enjoyed a stint in Spain after beginning in the NBL with Melbourne’s South Dragons.

Ingles was a crucial piece as the Boomers powered to a historic bronze medal at last year’s Tokyo Olympics and is adored by the Utah fans and teammates.

Pipped by teammate Jordan Clarkson for NBA sixth man of the year honours last season, he has established himself as one of the league’s best perimeter shooters and basketball minds.

The Jazz are 30-21 on the season but have lost five in a row and are in fourth place in the NBA’s Western Conference.