OAKLAND –- After missing the last five games with soreness in his left knee, Warriors center Festus Ezeli will undergo surgery Monday, the team announced.
A timetable for his return after what the team termed an “exploratory” procedure won’t be released until later Monday or on Tuesday, though it’s likely the fourth-year big man will miss at least a few weeks.
“It’s big a loss,” coach Steve Kerr said, “and hopefully he’ll be back before too long.”
Ezeli is having his finest season, averaging 7.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while playing about 18 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 13 times, with all of his six career double-doubles coming this season.
Backup center-forward Marreese Speights, Kerr said, will become the primary big man backing up starter Andrew Bogut.
“Festus is a huge part of our rotation,” Kerr said. “He’s really had a good year, an excellent year.
“Mo is going to step in and play well for us, but I feel bad for Festus. It’s a contract year and he’s young and he’s already had a knee surgery. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that he’s going to be OK.”
Ezeli, who underwent reconstructive surgery on his right knee in June 2013, will become a restricted free agent in July.