Chase Budinger has suffered an injury to the cartilage in his left knee, the team announced.
This is the same knee that required surgery last season and limited Budinger to 23 games. The small forward signed a 3 year contract worth approximately $15 million this summer, and was penciled in as the starter at the three spot. He is a favorite of Rick Adelman because his skills mesh with Adelman's corner offense, and he was a priority signing for the team this off-season.
While there is no official timetable for his return, President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders suggested it might be six to eight weeks. Budinger is scheduled to visit orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews early next week, after which there might be a more firm timetable for his return.
Saunders suggested that he was still happy with the roster and that the injury will give players like Derrick Williams and Shabazz Muhammad more opportunities to establish themselves. Budinger was being counted on to provide athleticism and three point shooting from the wing.
It also makes it more likely that one of the players on training camp invites will make the final roster.
We'll keep you updated if there are further developments.