Blazers C Meyers Leonard to miss the rest of the season following surgery
The Portland Trail Blazers announced big man Meyers Leonard will undergo surgery for his recently dislocated left shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season.
Leonard suffered his second dislocation of the season in practice during the team’s road trip. Leonard left the road trip early and got a second opinion in Los Angeles on his left shoulder. He dislocated it back in November, missed over two weeks and lost his starting spot.
The surgery is scheduled for Friday in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Job Orthopaedic. The Blazers did not reveal all of the damage that Leonard has in his shoulder in the release and said that a prognosis for Leonard’s return will be made after the procedure.
Leonard will be a restricted free-agent at the end of the season and while there’s never a good time for surgery, this is an especially crucial time in Leonard’s career. He and the Blazers did not agree to a contract extension before the season started.
Leonard averaged a career-highs of 22 minutes, 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He shot a pretty solid 37.7 % from long-range on the season, as well. This is a huge blow to the Blazers frontcourt depth. Leonard gave them a dimension that no other big man on their roster could with his ability to shoot the ball as well as neutralize good centers with his size on the block and shooting threat to pull them away from the basket. The Blazers face DeAndre Jordan on Thursday, DeMarcus Cousins on Tuesday and Hassan Whiteside next Saturday. Not a great time to be without their best weapon against centers.
The Blazers started Moe Harkless last night against the Mavericks and moved Noah Vonleh back to the bench. Without Leonard, the Blazers will be without their best second units and an excellent big man combination of he and Ed Davis. Overall, this is a big blow to the Blazers and a big blow to Leonard, who could have been an important piece in the playoffs.