Houston Rockets Injury Update: Donatas Motiejunas Has Back Surgery

By Tamberlyn Richardson

Motiejunas Injury Update:

Wednesday we reported that Donatas Motiejunas would miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs due to the back injury he sustained late in the season. Initially it was felt the power forward would be held out for 1 or 2 weeks, but the pain did not subside and when he was reassessed it was determined the big man would not be able to return this year.

At the time of the announcement there was no indication that surgery would occur, rather they stated no decision had been made. Then today reports surfaced that not only would he have back surgery, but that the procedure had already been undertaken.

Rockets announce that Motiejunas out for season. Underwent microdiscectomy today.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) April 9, 2015

Apparently it was a minor procedure (although I find it hard to believe any surgery on your back can be considered minor) that involved removing a small portion of the bone to allow the nerve to heal. I found a great explanation here or you can read the excerpt I snipped which provides a brief description:

Of note, reading the description highlights that an injury of this sort doesn’t just effect the back but also often results in leg pain; not exactly something a 7′ basketball player could ideally function with.

Motiejunas had a break through season delivering in the absence of Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones who both spent significant time on the injured reserved list. In just his third season he posted career highs in points, rebounds, assists and minutes. While the Rockets have their other big men back in the line-up the team will have to wait until next season for Motiejunas to join them again on the court.

For now, the Rockets will look to rebound from the shellacking they experienced at the hands of San Antonio Wednesday and will endeavor to return the favor tomorrow night at home in the Toyota Center. A loss would find them slipping in the seeding possibly as low as sixth which would be a real disappointment after they’ve resided in the top half of the West’s ranking all season.  Check back with us tomorrow for a pregame report.

Next: Who has the power in week 23

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