By Jerry Zgoda
Corey Brewer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the second half of Saturday’s loss to Denver and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
A medical imagining test of Brewer’s knee on Monday morning revealed the tear and Wolves coach Randy Wittman and the team got the news in Charlotte on the way to the arena for this morning’s shootaround.
Brewer fell twice in the second half Saturday. The first time, he went back into the team’s locker room briefly but returned to play before he fell again.
“I don’t know when it was but I could gather he got hurt on the first one because he asked to come out and Corey never asks to come out,” Wittman said. “He’s never asked me out of a game before in a year and a half. I thought Corey was starting to fall into understanding how to play, playing with some good confidence. He gives us great energy off the bench. We’re going to miss that.”
Brewer’s absence leaves the Wolves without their best individual defender.
“It hurts obviously,” Wittman said. “That’s what he has been providing. It hurts. But I’ve got confidence that we’ve got guys who can pick up those minutes in a quality way. That’s why you always tell players to be ready because you don’t know. I think we’ve got guys who can step up and provide that. Now they’re going to have the opportunity to do that.”
Brewer’s injury — surgery won’t be done until the swelling subsides in his knee — means more time for Rodney Carney, more time for Rashad McCants (who’s played just 16 minutes in the last three games mainly because he continues to jack up threes), more time for Randy Foye at the 2 and Mike Miller at the 3.
“Opportunities, oppportunities,” Wittman said. “We could go small. Kevin Ollie has had some good minutes before his (calf) injury. We could move Randy over and Mike down. We could play Rodney and Rashad together. We could do a number of different things there.”
Ryan Gomes called the news “a big blow to him and a big blow to our team. That’s a tough loss for us. He was giving us a lot of energy. He makes plays that really don’t showup too much in the stats, but he’s in the right place at the right time. He’s one of our best defenders because he can guard a lot of different guys at a lot of different positions.
“But we’ve got 15 guys on this team so we have to have someone fill that void. We have to become much better defensively as a team now because he could make those plays and guard gys one on one. Now it goes into soemone else’s hands.”
UPDATE: Regarding a question on this thread where somebody asked about a Rashad McCants-to-Charlotte trade: Well, I don’t think there’s any question they’d trade him if they could get something of value — he’s played like 10 minutes in the last three games since coming back from those back spasms and Wittman said today he’ll play more when he stops throwing up indiscriminant threes, getting in careless foul trouble and starts protecting the ball better — but I can’t see the Bobcats wanting another wing player with such poor shot-selection taste.
They’ve already got Jason Richardson and Gerald Wallace out there and need another post player and a wing defender who’ll drive to the basket. Brewer would make more sense in to-Charlotte talk, but that’s a moot point now. And the Wolves don’t have good post players to spare, certainly not what it would take to get a Wallace in a package deal. I think any thought that Charlotte would want a guy like McCants just because he went to UNC is silly.