It’s only appropriate that the Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s basketball team’s weirdest regular season will end with the weirdest Senior Day: no fans, no family on the court and the option to return next year, anyway.

Brandon Johnson, a graduate transfer playing his first season in Minnesota, appears ready to use his NCAA pandemic waiver to come back and see what a regular Big Ten season is like.

Eric Curry, who spent five injury-plagued seasons with the Gophers, is definitely done. As a result, Saturday’s 11 a.m. tip against Rutgers at Williams Arena will be the fifth-year senior’s last game at any level.

“I don’t plan on coming back next season,” the 6-foot-9 forward said. “This is my last season playing basketball.”

Since a promising freshman year in which he averaged 5.5 points and 5.2 rebounds a game, Curry has battled two major knee injuries that cost him two whole seasons, plus a substantial chunk of another season to a foot injury.

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The Memphis, Tenn., native earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and is finishing a master’s degree in youth studies.

“I thought about it before the season,” Curry said Friday. “I just wanted to get my last one in for the guys. I’ve been through a lot, everybody knows that. I just came to peace with not being able to play basketball.”

Johnson, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago who graduated from Western Michigan, enters Saturday’s game averaging 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds for Minnesota, and he almost single-handedly closed out a 102-05 victory over No. 5 Iowa with a season-high 26 points and four overtime 3-pointers on Dec. 25.

Unfortunately, there were no fans at Williams Arena to see it, just part of what made his only Big Ten season a pandemic anomaly.

“It’s kind of messed up that I didn’t get to experience truly how a Big Ten game really is,” Johnson said. “I’ve played Big Ten games in the past, and it’s not like how Big Ten is described to me by my teammates, the coaching staff or even random fans on social media.

“That’s one thing that I’m happy thinking about the decision because I will get to experience that, I will get to prove that my game has changed with the amount of work that I plan on doing this summer, showing that I can have a bigger role, showing that I’m capable of doing a lot more than people expect me to.”

There is another reason Johnson might want to return. The Gophers (13-13, 6-13 Big Ten) were a Top 25 team, with five victories against ranked opponents, before injuries to key players decimated the lineup.

The Gophers enter Saturday’s game against Rutgers (13-10, 9-10) losers of nine of their past 11 games but were 11-4 on Jan. 16 with victories over Iowa, No. 2 Michigan and No. 7 Ohio State. The last time they were healthy, they beat No. 23 Purdue (17-8, 12-6) on Feb. 11.

Since then, center Liam Robbins (ankle) and guard Gabe Kalscheur (finger) were lost to injury, and Johnson has been hobbled by an ankle injury. Wing Both Gach has been limited by a foot injury Pitino thinks might require offseason surgery.

Theoretically, the Gophers could get, essentially, a do-over in 2021-22 if everyone comes back, including junior point guard Marcus Carr, who explored leaving for the NBA Draft last summer.

“It’s part of sports. I don’t think a lot of guys get do-overs; it is what it is,” Pitino said. “But, yeah, I would love to see a healthy team. I was watching our first Rutgers game to prepare for this game, and that was a team that was connected and scratching and clawing. We’ve just had so many injuries that it’s been very, very challenging.”

Kalscheur, who broke a finger on his shooting hand, is out at least until the March 10-14 Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. Robbins, a 7-foot forward averaging 12 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds, and Johnson will be game-time decisions, Pitino said.

Johnson aggravated a sprain in Wednesday’s 84-65 loss at Penn State.

“I’ve just been taking the last couple days and icing every chance I get, doing rehab as much as I can,” he said. “I’m not one for excuses. I’m going to try anything possible to make sure I’m 100 percent able to play. I’m going to try my best not to miss it.”