Nets' Brook Lopez has surgery to repair and prevent further injury
The surgery on Brook Lopez's right foot Saturday was meant to not only repair a broken bone but to restore the rest of his career. Doctors performed an extra procedure on the Nets center, moving another bone in an effort to prevent the injury from occurring again.
General manager Billy King said the surgery was successful and rejected any suggestion that the additional procedure, a first metatarsal osteotomy, is a cause for long-term concern.
"I'm not going to speculate. Right now, he had it, it was successful and I expect him to have a full recovery and be back next year," King said, adding that the team's leading scorer is expected to take part in offseason workouts this summer.
Lopez broke the fifth metatarsal in December 2011 and had surgery soon after that. Last offseason, he had to have a screw in the troublesome bone replaced. He broke it again in a game against Philadelphia on Dec. 20, ending his season and casting doubt that he will ever be able to stay on the court on a consistent basis.
The osteotomy was done to spread weight distribution more evenly in the foot, Dr. Riley Williams III, the team's medical director, said in a statement.
"The repositioning portion of the surgery lessens the stress on the fractured bone and decreases the likelihood of re-injury in the future," he said after an operation performed by Dr. James Nunley, Duke University Medical Center's department chair of orthopedic surgery, along with Dr. Martin O'Malley, the Nets' foot and ankle specialist.
King said the doctors talked with numerous other specialists and decided on the approach they took Saturday. Lopez has been with the Nets his entire career -- starting with bleak times in New Jersey -- and has been vocally enthusiastic about the team's new home in Brooklyn despite being mentioned in trade rumors in previous seasons.
The Nets think Lopez has much Brooklyn basketball ahead of him.
"There's not a magical answer I can give and project into the future," King said. "He'll be back for summer workouts."