Noah Vonleh's preparation for the 2016-17 season has hit a speed bump, as the Portland Trail Blazers forward had to undergo surgery on his right leg.
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Vonleh Out 3-4 Weeks
Wednesday, Aug. 31
Per NBA.com, Vonleh had a bone fragment removed from his right thigh on Wednesday and is expected to need three to four weeks of recovery time.
Following his rookie season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he only played 25 games, Vonleh settled into a role with the Trail Blazers last year.
The 21-year-old didn't get significant playing time, averaging 15.1 minutes per game during the regular season, but he made it count with 8.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes played.
He saw a significant decrease in playing time in the playoffs, only breaking the two-minute barrier once in six games against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Vonleh has made it through his first two seasons with mostly good health. The only significant blip on his radar was undergoing sports hernia surgery in Sept. 2014, but that didn't cause him to miss the start of the season.
The Trail Blazers found a winning formula as last season moved along, making the postseason after losing LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency. The good news for Vonleh and the team is his procedure took place early enough that he could be back before Portland's preseason opener on Oct. 3 against the Utah Jazz.
Even though Vonleh hasn't become a foundation piece for the Trail Blazers, he's still got size (6'10", 240 lbs) that the team doesn't boast a lot of right now. Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis can handle things at the power forward spot, but Vonleh's age and upside make him a key piece for Portland to build around.