9:30pm: The Trail Blazers have confirmed in a press release that Zeller had a successful surgery for what the team is calling a right patellar avulsion fracture.
9:09pm: Trail Blazers reserve center Cody Zeller went under the knife in Los Angeles today for a right knee surgery to treat a patellar injury, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Woj notes that Portland expects the veteran big man to be sidelined for eight-to-10 weeks as he recovers.
Earlier this season, Zeller missed nearly a month’s worth of action (12 games) between a knee injury and a stint in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The 29-year-old vet returned on January 7 for three contests, but has missed the Trail Blazers’ six latest games due to the patellar injury. All told, he has suited up for just 27 games this season, his first with Portland after signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract this summer.
In 13.1 minutes per game, Zeller is averaging 5.2 PPG on 56.7% field goal shooting, plus 4.6 RPG. The 6’11” center was selected with the fourth draft pick out of Indiana by the Hornets (then the Bobcats) in 2013 and spent his first eight NBA seasons in Charlotte.
Sporting a 20-26 record thus far, the Trail Blazers currently occupy the No. 10 seed in the West, which would land them at the bottom of the play-in tournament bracket were the season to end today. In addition to Zeller, Portland is also missing star point guard Damian Lillard, who underwent a recent surgery of his own to address a long-standing abdominal injury.