Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia will undergo surgery on his sore right Achilles and miss the rest of the season.
The Hawks said Pachulia, 29, is scheduled for surgery Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. The expected recovery time is about six months, meaning the Hawks will be without another valuable member of their bench heading into the playoffs. The team already lost guard Lou Williams to a season-ending knee injury.
“I think this is the right decision,” Pachulia said Saturday before the Hawks played Orlando. “I’ll be able to come back as soon as possible. It’s a partial tear. ... I’ll take this injury rather than a total rupture.”
Pachulia had not played since a March 3 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles, missing 15 games before deciding on surgery. He has visited multiple doctors seeking information about his injury.
In 52 games this season, including 15 starts, Pachulia averaged 5.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 21.8 minutes. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and may have played his last game for the Hawks.
Pachulia will definitely be missed this season. The Hawks have already clinched a playoff berth but still have a chance to improve their seeding.
“He plays a playoff style, the way he throws his body around,” coach Larry Drew said. “You can see how his style, it just fits playoff basketball.”
Around the league
Houston Rockets guard James Harden sat out Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers with a sore right foot. Harden missed games Dec. 10 and Feb. 12 with a sprained right ankle. ... Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight will wear a mask until he recovers from a broken nose suffered Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. He also re-aggravated a left ankle sprain. ... Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who hasn’t played this season after injuring his left knee in the playoffs last year, worked out on the court before his team played the Dallas Mavericks. Coach Tom Thibodeau did not provide a timetable for Rose’s return. ... Bulls guard Carlos Boozer celebrated scoring while getting fouled in the first half Friday by punching the air, striking veteran official Danny Crawford, who walked away and laughed it off.