Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike underwent microfracture surgery Thursday on her right knee.
Ogwumike is expected to make a full recovery and is expected to be sidelined for at least six months.
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"This is new territory for my family and I, but I am not one to shy away from challenges," Ogwumike said. "I have met every life challenge with an optimistic point of view, therefore this is an obstacle I know I will overcome. I have the best support system, both personally and professionally, so I know I will emerge from this experience a more confident and determined player."
The WNBA Rookie of the Year averaged 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds while playing in 31 games for the Sun this past season. Ogwumike led all rookies in double-doubles (13) and was second in the WNBA in offensive rebounds (123).
"Chiney had an amazing rookie season and we were excited about watching her progress in 2015," Connecticut Sun general manager Chris Sienko said. "However, our only concern now is her health and well-being."
She was playing in Italy this winter where she was averaging 25.3 points and 13.1 rebounds in seven games. The first pick in last year’s WNBA draft has been pretty healthy throughout her basketball career. She missed a few games this past season while playing for the Sun because of an abscessed tooth.
Ogwumike had the surgery in Texas and it was performed by Walter Lowe, the team doctor of the Houston Texans and Houston Rockets. Lowe also performed the surgery on Texans No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney.
"At the moment, Chiney’s health is our only concern," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "I know the decision to have this procedure was not an easy one, but it needed to be done. We know with complete certainty that Chiney will work hard to get back into top form."