Bucks center Larry Sanders confirmed to me that he is done for season. Sanders said he is making good progress following eye surgery.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) March 19, 2014
starting center Larry Sanders for a minimum of six weeks after undergoing a procedure to repair orbital bone fractures around his right eye.
The team broke the news on Twitter:
Larry Sanders underwent successful surgery yesterday to repair right orbital bone fractures & will be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 14, 2014
The Virginia Commonwealth product suffered the injury Feb. 8 against the Houston Rockets when guard James Harden accidentally hit Sanders with his elbow.
Right after the injury, Bucks head coach Larry Drew told reporters Sanders was experiencing "blurred vision" and detailed why the injury came at a horrible time for the young player, via Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports:
That's really unfortunate because the kid has been playing well. He was starting to play with a rhythm and played two of his better games this year. It's just real unfortunate that he sustained the injury. He was starting to get that energy back, that fire and passion. It's just really unfortunate.
This is not Sanders' first encounter with a sideline-inducing injury, as he had missed six weeks earlier in the season with a thumb issue. Despite this, Sanders has been a highlight for the Bucks this year thanks to his 7.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
In Sanders' extensive absence, the Bucks will now turn to Zaza Pachulia for most of the minutes at center. He is inexperienced in the rotation, so Milwaukee will also lean on John Henson and Ekpe Udoh to contribute, especially when the latter returns from injury.
This is just the latest blow for the Bucks, owners of the league's worst record at 9-43. They have lost four straight, and the foreseeable future is bleak with matchups against strong teams like the Indiana Pacers in the coming weeks.