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Bennedict Mathurin to miss rest of 2023-24 season for Indiana Pacers due to torn right labrum

Mathurin's shoulder injury will end his second season early

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin will miss the rest of the 2023-24 season with a torn right labrum.

The 21-year old played in 59 games this season, including most recently on Tuesday when he suited up in Dallas against the Mavericks. That night, the young ball handler hurt his shoulder, and the initial hope from the Pacers was that it wouldn't be a serious injury.

"We hope it's not serious. He's a guy that bounces back very quickly and hates missing games. We hope that it's relatively short term. He will miss a week, at least," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle shared on Thursday of Mathurin's injury. At the time, the head coach said that the team would reevaluate Mathurin's shoulder next week.

Two days later, the Pacers shared that Mathurin's season is over due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The injury will require surgery, which will be performed by surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles next week. Dr. ElAttrache has performed surgeries on several famous athletes in the past, including Kobe Bryant, Zack Greinke, and baseball star Shohei Ohtani

Mathurin's second season ends with averages of 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He appeared in 59 outings — prior to Thursday, he had only missed four games all season.

Per minute, Mathurin's rebound, assist, and block numbers were all up from his rookie year. He cut his turnover figure and was more efficient on his shot attempts. While he didn't get to the foul line as often as he did in year one, Mathurin took some important steps forward as an all-around player.

Since the All-Star break, the 2022 lottery pick was averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. It was one of the best stretches of his career and a clear sign of progress. Now, it's cut short due to an injury.

Mathurin began to show signs that he can blend the player that he naturally is with the player the Pacers need him to be early in the season. He was vital in multiple wins and will be tough for Indiana to replace — the blue and gold are 2-3 without Mathurin this campaign.

In his absence, the team will need to rely on a variety of off-ball guards and wings. Ben Sheppard will continue to play and play often, and Doug McDermott will likely have a role once he returns from his calf injury. With McDermott currently sidelined, rookie forward Jarace Walker could be in line for minutes.

Indiana is currently in a close race for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference, so losing a key scorer hurts. They will try to replace Mathurin's production, but it may require some small rotation changes to keep consistent scoring on the court. The blue and gold next hit the court tomorrow night against the Orlando Magic.

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