Jazz Center Udoka Azubuike Done For Season After Surgery

Jazz center Udoka Azubuike underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair multiple ligaments in his right ankle and foot, the team announced. He’ll miss the rest of the 2021/22 season.

Azubuike appeared to suffer a dislocated ankle in a G League contest on March 10, his third right ankle injury in the past 13 months. He had a partially dislocated ankle back in November and a severe ankle sprain in February of 2021.

In 17 games this season, the second-year big man averaged 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per night while shooting 75.5% from the field. He appeared in just 15 games as a rookie last season, logging a total of 57 minutes.

After four seasons at Kansas, Azubuike was the 27th pick in the 2020 draft. Although his NBA run has been brief, the 22-year-old has shown flashes of upside — as Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune notes, Azubuike averaged 9.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks over a six-game stretch between February 2-14.

Since Azubuike was behind Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside on Utah’s depth chart, his absence won’t have much of an impact on the team’s playoff push, but obviously it’s a tough setback for the young center and hopefully he’s able to recover quickly.

At 45-28, the Jazz are currently the No. 4 seed in the West, but their hold on that spot is tenuous, as the Mavs have an identical record and the No. 6 Nuggets and No. 7 Timberwolves trail the Jazz by 2.5 and 3.5 games, respectively.

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