|04 April 2013|
|Zaza Pachulia is expected to miss the next six months after undergoing surgery on his right Achilles tendon |
Georgia have suffered a major blow to their EuroBasket aspirations after receiving news from the USA that their star player Zaza Pachulia could be sidelined for up to six months.
The Atlanta Hawks center underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair his right Achilles tendon at a hospital in North Carolina.
Pachulia will now have a period of rest followed by treatment and rehabilitation, with the total recovery time estimated at this point as being approximately six months.
If this initial prediction proves accurate, the 29-year-old Georgian star will only be back in action after the end of the EuroBasket, which tips off on 4 September in Slovenia.
Surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson, who performed the operation, and the Atlanta Hawks physician Dr. Michael Bernot will give updates on his health status throughout the recovery period.
Pachulia's last appearance with the Hawks was on 3rd March, in a game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
According to reports in the USA, he had been playing through pain for over a month and took the opinion of several doctors about his injury before choosing to go on with the operation.
"After thoroughly reviewing the possible options with Zaza, we all felt this (undergoing surgery) was the best decision to ensure Zaza's complete recovery so that he can be at 100% going forward," said the Atlanta Hawks' general manager and president of basketball operations, Danny Ferry.
"Zaza is a professional with a strong work ethic; the Hawks will continue to be completely supportive as he tackles the return to play process," added Ferry, who is also a former player.
Pachulia was instrumental in Georgia's campaign to reach EuroBasket 2013, as he averaged 18.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in the five games he featured in during last summer's Qualification Round.
Georgia clinched second place in Group D with a 6-2 record, the same as group winners Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The center played in 52 games with the Hawks this season, averaging 5.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assist per contest.
Georgia were drawn in First Round Group C at the EuroBasket and will go up against reigning European champions Spain, hosts Slovenia, Poland, Croatia and the Czech Republic.