Brook Lopez undergoes foot surgery

Updated: January 4, 2014, 7:02 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez underwent surgery Saturday morning to repair the fractured fifth metatarsal of his right foot, the team announced.

Lopez also had a second procedure, called a first metatarsal osteotomy, in which another bone was repositioned in his foot to "unload and protect the injured area."

Lopez will miss the rest of the season, but is expected to make a full recovery and be back on the court for offseason workouts.

"With this procedure, we both fixed the broken bone [fifth metatarsal] in Brook's right foot and repositioned another bone, so that his sole of his foot will bear weight more evenly than before," team physician Dr. Riley Williams III said in a statement.

"The repositioning portion of the surgery lessens the stress of the fractured bone, and decreases the likelihood of re-injury in the future."

The procedure was performed by Dr. James Nunley, Duke University Medical Center's Department Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nets' foot and ankle specialist Dr. Martin O'Malley and Williams III.

Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who endured several foot injuries throughout his career -- like Lopez has -- had a first metatarsal osteotomy and it saved his career.

Asked about the possibility of this being a last-ditch effort to save Lopez's career, Nets general manager Billy King said: "You're speculating on something like that. He had surgery. It was successful. And then he'll recover and be back playing. We can sit here and say last-ditch effort or whatever, he had surgery.

"They said it's gonna be a successful recovery, so I mean, we can't sit here today on Jan. 4 and say what's gonna happen when he starts playing again. We can't speculate on that, and I'm not gonna do that."

Lopez previously fractured the same fifth metatarsal in December 2011, and later had a screw replaced in it this past offseason.

Lopez suffered the injury Dec. 20 in Philadelphia. The 25-year-old was averaging a team-high 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 17 games.

Lopez is in the second year of a four-year, $60 million max contract he signed in the summer of 2012.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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