May 3, 2013, 4:48 PM EDT
When he announced his decision to enter the 2013 NBA Draft, former Maryland center Alex Len was projected by many draft analysts to be a lottery selection.
In the aftermath of news that Len has undergone surgery to stabilize a partial stress fracture in his left ankle, the question now is whether or not his draft stock will take a hit.
The surgery will sideline Len anywhere from four to six months, which obviously rules him out for on-court workouts in the weeks leading up to the June 27 draft in Brooklyn.
“This was a preventative measure to stabilize a partial stress fracture of the ankle,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson in a statement released by Len’s agent, Michael Lelchitski with Sports International Group.
“Although it is possible that this injury could have healed on its own, surgery was felt to be the safest and surest option to ensuring a long and successful NBA career for Alex. His prognosis is excellent, and I anticipate he’ll make a full return to basketball within the next few months.”
In 38 games Len averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots per game this past season.
Len is the second big man in this year’s draft to have a significant health issue to deal with, with former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in February.
Both are expected to be lottery picks, and given the perceived lack of elite talent a franchise can build around it wouldn’t come as a surprise if that remained the case come June. The focus for Len is to get to full strength by the time training camp rolls around in October.
“I decided that surgery was the best long term option for my career,” Len said in the statement. “I didn’t want to risk it not healing properly. I want to make sure I’m fully healthy and ready for training camp.”
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