There are a lot of NBA players who have had knee surgery, maybe even a majority. It’s commonplace.
However, the upcoming surgery for Festus Ezeli — who has yet to set foot on a court for the Portland Trail Blazers this season following an original knee surgery last summer — will be something different. At least for an NBA player. It’s going to involve a cadaver donor, reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.
The procedure will involve the use of a cadaver donor, league sources said. Ezeli has sought a donor for months, sources said, but due to his 6-foot-11 stature, finding a matching donor was problematic.
A donor was recently submitted, sources said, thus the reason for Ezeli’s pending surgery….
It is unknown exactly how long the recovery process will be, but one source said it could take up to a year.
The report says no known NBA player has ever had this surgery. Carson Palmer, quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, had this done when he was with the Bengals and has bounced back. However, it’s a different sport and role, plus Palmer is not exactly known as the most nimble and quick of quarterbacks (to put it kindly).
Ezeli is just 27, so he could miss time and still play for years afterward (and big men get plenty of chances to prove they can play because athletic 6’11” guys such as Ezeli are rare).
Portland has a $7.7 million team option on Ezeli for next season. With the addition of Jusuf Nurkic, who has played better than expected since arriving in Portland, it is very possible the Blazers will let Ezeli go this summer.