NBA

Portland's Festus Ezeli to undergo rare surgery, receive donation from cadaver

Sep 26, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli (31) poses during media day at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 26, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli (31) poses during media day at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Former Golden State Warriors big man Festus Ezeli hasn't played since the 2016 NBA Finals, and he won't play a single minute for the Portland Trail Blazers this season after signing a two-year, $15.2 million deal with the Trail Blazers last summer.

Ezeli, who had arthroscopic knee surgery 13 months ago, received a bone marrow aspirate injection in August that kept him out for the start of the season, and complications in his recovery ruled him out indefinitely. The Blazers announced that Ezeli will now undergo a season-ending procedure - which, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes, has been months in the making.

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

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Ezeli wouldn't be the first athlete to receive a donation from a cadaver, but the timeline for his recovery is unknown.

Via ESPN:

"Ezeli has sought a donor for months, sources said, but because of his 6-foot-11 stature, finding a matching donor was problematic.

.... 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 possibly career-threatening injury."