Rockets’ Tari Eason Undergoes Season-Ending Leg Surgery

MARCH 5: Eason underwent surgery to treat a benign growth on his lower leg, the Rockets announced today in a press release. According to the team, the procedure “involved excising and bone grafting the lesion along with inserting an intramedullary rod in his tibia to help accelerate healing.”

As expected, Eason’s projected recovery time is four months.

MARCH 3: Tari Eason‘s second NBA season will come to an early end, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, who reports that the Rockets forward will undergo surgery to treat a growth on his left leg. The procedure will take place on Monday and will sideline him for the next four months, per head coach Ime Udoka.

“He had obviously been going through some things through the year and had a benign growth on the shin bone, the tibia I think,” Udoka said. “Took that blow early in the season. Flared up. He played through it with some pain. Never had a chance of fracturing. It was a pain tolerance thing. Once the pain got too high, he shut it down.

“We thought rest and rehab, he could get over it that way, but every time he ramped up, the pain came right back. After seeing all the specialists and decision makers, came to the decision that it’s best to have surgery Monday. He’ll be ready for the start of the season. A little bone graft put in there and he’ll be ready in four months.”

The 17th overall pick in the 2022 draft, Eason was a model of health in his rookie year, appearing in all 82 games in 2022/23. He showed promise by averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per night, posting a shooting line of .448/.343/.752 and flashing significant defensive upside.

Eason was on track to be a key part of Houston’s wing rotation this season, but he was limited to just 22 appearances due to his health issues, which began when Pacers big man Jalen Smith fell on his leg in a preseason game. He hasn’t suited up for Houston since January 1.

Eason will be entering the third season of his four-year rookie contract in 2024/25 and is locked in on a cap hit of approximately $3.7MM. The Rockets will have until October 31 to exercise his $5.7MM fourth-year option for ’25/26. Assuming that option is picked up, which is a safe bet, the former LSU standout will become eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2025 offseason.

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