March 6 (UPI) -- Portland Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli is expected to undergo a rare surgical procedure on his left knee that will involve the use of a cadaver donor.
Ezeli has sought a donor for months but finding a matching donor was problematic because of his 6-foot-11 stature, sources told ESPN.com.
The Blazers announced that Ezeli's surgery will be performed this week by Dr. Robert LaPrade at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo.
Ezeli, 27, has yet to play a game for the Trail Blazers and he now will officially miss the entire 2016-17 season. He signed a two-year, $15.2 million contract with the Blazers last offseason.
While with the Cincinnati Bengals, Palmer tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee during a 2006 playoff game, an injury that was possibly career-ending. Following surgery and five months of rehabilitation, Palmer was able to start the season opener in 2007.
Ezeli missed all of his first training camp with the Trail Blazers after recovering from offseason knee injections that included a bone marrow aspirate. He previously had surgery on his left knee and right knee at different stages during his four-year stint with the Golden State Warriors.
The Nigerian center, who played at Vanderbilt, has career averages of 4.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 170 games while playing for the Warriors.