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Spurs’ Dejounte Murray suffers torn right ACL

Dejounte Murray, Spurs

San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray has suffered a torn right ACL, the team announced Monday. A timeline for his return to the court will be released at a later time.

Murray suffered the injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s preseason game against the Houston Rockets. The 22-year-old was driving to the basket against James Harden and crashed to the floor when he tried to plant his foot to explode toward the rim. Murray walked off the court with Spurs medical staffers.

Murray was set to play a key role as the Spurs’ starting point guard with Tony Parker officially out of the picture. The youngster started 48 of 81 games last season and averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 21.5 minutes per game.

Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge had this reaction to the injury, via ESPN’s Michael C. Wright:

“He’s our starting PG, and he’s worked hard over the summer to get better, and I think it was showing,” said Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who intended to visit Murray later Sunday night. “You just feel for him because he’s worked so hard to be ready for this season.”

While Murray still has a lot of developing to do offensively, especially in terms of his shooting, he has already become a dynamite defender. He recorded 1.2 steals per game last season and made the All-Defensive second team.

This injury comes on the heels of the news that rookie Lonnie Walker IV needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Walker is expected to be out close to two months, so San Antonio will be down two key pieces in the backcourt to start the season.

The Spurs have been to the playoffs 21 straight seasons, and Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan will have to take on even more responsibilities to make it 22 in a row. Second-year guard Derrick White will likely see an uptick in playing time due to this injury.