NBA: Nigerian center Ezeli to undergo left knee surgery

Nigerian center Festus Ezeli, who has yet to play for the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, will miss the full campaign after undergoing left knee surgery in the next few days.

The team announced Sunday that the 27-year-old African, a Golden State Warriors reserve on their 2015 NBA championship squad and the 2016 team that won an NBA record 73 games, would undergo the operation next week in Vail, Colorado.

Ezeli signed a two-year contract worth $15.2 million with the Trail Blazers in the off-season after being dropped by the Warriors following their deal with superstar forward Kevin Durant.

But Ezeli struggled with pre-season knee issues and never played for the Blazers before being ruled out for the remainder of the season this weekend.

ESPN reported that Ezeli will undergo a rare surgical procedure involving a cadaver donor. NFL quarterback Carson Palmer used a similar procedure after tearing left knee ligaments in a playoff game, returning after rehabilitation for five months to start the 2007 NFL season.

In four NBA seasons all with the Warriors, Ezeli averaged 4.2 points and 4.3 rebounds over 170 games.