UNLV freshman power forward Anthony Bennett frowned as he glanced down at his left arm while attending the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday. Nearly a week removed having surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff, Bennett is wearing a sling that is connected to a pad near his midsection to protect his arm and limit its mobility.

The timing of the procedure is bad, because it forced him to miss out on attending the NBA draft combine and will keep him from participating in individual workouts for teams. Limited to doing interviews in advance of the June 27 NBA draft, the 6-foot-8 Bennett will have to hope that a season in which he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds – and shot 38 percent from beyond the three-point line – was enough to convince teams that he is worthy of a high draft pick.

“It’s been tough for me. Kind of depressing, too, that I’m hurt,” Bennett said. “Could’ve had this fixed earlier in the season, but I didn’t know what it was. I’m just happy I got it out the way. It’s a long process, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to come back 100 percent.”

A bruising inside force, Bennett was considered a possible No. 1 overall selection early last season, as he scored 22 points in his collegiate debut against Northern Arizona and scored at least 10 points in his first 17 games. Drawing comparisons to former all-star Elton Brand and touted by some as the Running Rebels’ best recruit since Larry Johnson, Bennett displayed tremendous offensive versatility, explosive athleticism and an imposing 7-1 wingspan, which made him effective despite being relatively undersized.

Bennett experienced a dip in his production in Mountain West Conference play and began to experience some discomfort in February in his left shoulder, which he originally thought was a nerve issue that came from sleeping on it wrong. Bennett bounced back in the conference tournament, scoring 42 points on 16-of-22 shooting in the first two games. He had 15 points and 11 rebounds in UNLV’s 64-61 loss to California in the NCAA tournament round of 64.