Blazers' Cody Zeller Out 8-10 Weeks After Surgery on Knee Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 26, 2022

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 7: Cody Zeller #40 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 7, 2022 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers center Cody Zeller is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks after undergoing surgery Tuesday for a patellar fracture in his right knee, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The nine-year NBA veteran, who is in his first season with Portland after spending eight campaigns with the Charlotte Hornets, is averaging 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game for the Blazers. He has been out since Jan. 10.

The former Indiana star signed a one-year, $2.4 million contract with Portland last August. He's played behind starting center Jusuf Nurkic, who is averaging 14.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

The 20-26 Blazers have been hit hard with injuries all season, with their top three scorers all missing time.

Damian Lillard has been held to 29 games this year and is currently out after undergoing abdominal surgery to rectify a lingering injury. CJ McCollum missed 18 games with a collapsed right lung. Norman Powell sat the last eight games after entering the NBA's health-and-safety protocols.

McCollum and Powell are back, but the Blazers have also been without big man Larry Nance Jr. (right knee inflammation) since Jan. 7.

Still, Portland has soldiered ahead despite the litany of injuries, winning six of its last eight to move into the fourth and final Western Conference play-in tournament spot at the moment.