Portland Trailblazers‘ Center Festus Ezeli will undergo surgery on his left knee next week. The surgery will involve using a cadaver donor. Ezeli has been looking for a donor for months, but at 6-foot-11, finding one was not an easy task. He found a donor, and Dr. Robert LaPrade will preform the procedure. There is no date when he will return, but some say it could be up to a year.
ESPN Sources: For months Portland’s Festus Ezeli sought a cadaver donor. One recently submitted, thus surgical procedure on knee next week.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 5, 2017
Ezeli has not played a single game for Portland after signing a two-year, 15.2 million dollar contract this past off-season. The Trailblazers are trying to get back to where they were last year, and this only makes it worse. They were expecting him to be a big piece that would bring them closer to elite playoff contention. His defensive presence would really help them out.
The last time Ezeli appeared in a game was game seven of the NBA Finals back in June. 13 months ago he had arthroscopic knee surgery, and received a bone marrow aspirate injection back in August. That kept him from playing in the beginning of the season. He started to have complications in his recovery, as he was ruled out indefinitely.
There have been other athletes to have this type of surgery.
The following is from ESPN:
“Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is the most notable recent athlete to have had such a procedure. While with the Cincinnati Bengals, Palmer tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee during a 2006 playoff game. It was considered a career-threatening injury.”
Last season for the Golden State Warriors, Ezeli was a good player coming off the bench. He averaged 7.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 block. He was a big part of their depth and was a player that could start on some teams. He is only 27, so hopefully this injury does not completely ruin his career. He would most likely still be on the Warriors this season, but when the Warriors signed superstar small-forward Kevin Durant in free-agency, they had to let some players go.
Before the trade deadline, there were rumors that he might be traded. The Nigerian center will be hoping to get back on the hardwood and play the rest of his career without any major injuries.