Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter done for season, will have surgery
Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter will undergo surgery Wednesday in Chicago to repair a dislocated left shoulder and will not return this season.
The procedure, general manager Dennis Lindsey said, reduces the chances of the 20-year-old reinjuring his shoulder.
"Frankly, this is good news," Lindsey said. "The probability as given to us that something would happen to the shoulder is no greater than a shoulder that's never been injured before."
He said the likelihood of further injury was reduced by "surgical reattachment rather than straight rehab."
Kanter, the No. 3 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, suffered the injury March 27 in a win against the Phoenix Suns when he wrestled on the floor for a loose ball with Suns center Hamed Haddadi.
The Tribune first reported Tuesday morning that Kanter would be out for the season. His surgery will be performed by Guido Marra, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders and elbows.
Kanter will be sidelined through any playoff run the Jazz make, and the team will move forward primarily with a three-man frontcourt of Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap.
"It's tough," said Jefferson, Kanter's mentor. "Especially because we can't have him for the rest of the year. But it's all about him getting back 100 percent, having the surgery that he needs so he can focus this offseason on getting back healthy."
The Jazz are not announcing a timetable for Kanter's return to basketball activities, which would include July summer league in Orlando, Fla.
"Enes is disappointed because he's competitive," Lindsey said. "He's tough. He wanted to jump all-in in the playoff race that we're currently in. â¦ Players and competitors, sometimes you've got to save them from themselves."
Lindsey pointed to Kanter's physical style of play as a primary reason for opting for the surgery. After suffering the injury last month, Kanter bounced out of the Jazz locker room, so it was little surprise when coach Tyrone Corbin said that the center's "spirits were up" when the pair talked on the phone Tuesday.
"As with everybody going into surgery, [he] doesn't really know what to expect. [But] he's happy about the decision. He wants to make sure he gets healthy so he can get back with his teammates," Corbin said.
Kanter, 20, averaged 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds this season in 70 games with the Jazz, including two starts. He recorded career highs of 23 points and 22 rebounds March 1 against Charlotte.
Kanter in 2012-13
Gms GS Pts Reb Blk FG% FT%
70 2 7.2 4.3 0.5 .544 .795