Grizzlies center Marc Gasol out for season after undergoing foot surgery
The Memphis Grizzlies will have to manage without Marc Gasol for the rest of the season. The franchise’s All-NBA center underwent successful surgery on his right foot, the team announced on Tuesday.
Gasol’s surgery, which was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson and Dr. Drew Murphy on Saturday, repaired a non-displaced Type II fracture of the navicular bone. He is expected to make a full recovery.
"It is frustrating to not be on the court with my teammates at this time," Gasol said in a statement, "but I understand that the focus of this process is on long-term health and stability."
Gasol left the Grizzlies’ Feb. 8 game against Portland due to the injury.
After signing a five-year max contract this past offseason, Gasol, who was named first-team All-NBA last season, once again joined point guard Mike Conley as one of Memphis’ best players this season. His productivity fell off last season’s pace, but the 7-footer still averaged 16.6 points and seven rebounds while dealing with various injuries.
"Marc remains a cornerstone of our franchise and we are pleased to hear that the surgery went according to plan," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. " … We are confident we will have Marc back anchoring our team next season and beyond."
The Grizzlies made rebuilding moves at the trade deadline in Gasol’s absence. The team traded contributors Courtney Lee and Jeff Green for a haul of draft picks — notably a 2019 protected first-round pick from the Clippers and four second-rounders from the Hornets and Heat — as a nod to the future. (Whether they use those assets to complement the current core as trade assets remains to be seen.)
Gasol’s contract guarantees he will play a major role in the coming seasons, so his long-term health is front and center, but the franchise faces major decisions with unrestricted free agent Mike Conley and veteran big man Zach Randolph, among others.
Regardless, if the Grizzlies are going to push their way back into the upper echelon of the Western Conference in the new future, they will need a healthy Marc Gasol.