Talen Horton-Tucker has been one of the league's worst-kept secrets for some time now.
While he still hasn't taken a step forward and broken out as the star some believe he can be, there's still plenty of hype around him and his potential in the league.
That's why it was such a bummer to find out that he'll be out for the foreseeable future and will miss the start of the 2021/22 season.
According to Shams Charania, the 20-year-old just underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament on his right thumb:
"Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker has a torn ligament in his right thumb and will undergo surgery, sources tell The Athletic, Stadium," tweeted Charania.
According to experts, this injury could keep him on the shelf for at least 6 weeks, meaning he'd be back in mid-November at the earliest.
The Chicago native is vastly talented and some expect him to take a step forward this season. In fact, an Eastern Conference executive even said that he could be a max-contract caliber player.
"At 20, he's only a year or two older than some of the top prospects—Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, and Jalen Suggs—in July's NBA draft. "I'd max him out," an Eastern Conference executive said.
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka also had a lot of praise for the Iowa State product, which is why most people expect him to have a big role off the bench for the purple and gold:
"There’s nothing Talen doesn’t have to keep him from being an elite player," Pelinka said.
Horton-Tucker is coming off a strong season with averages of 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds 5.0 assists, and 1.7 steals on 45.6% shooting per 36 minutes and recently signed a contract extension with the Lakers.
The 17-time NBA champions will also be without Trevor Ariza due to injury, so let's hope this doesn't become a trend for Frank Vogel's team going forward.