Festus Ezeli's knee surgery to involve donated tissue

This story has been corrected. Read below.

Portland Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli is expected to undergo a surgical procedure on his left knee next week.

The procedure will involve the use of a cadaver donor, league sources said. Ezeli has sought a donor for months, sources said, but because of his 6-foot-11 stature, finding a matching donor was problematic. The surgery was scheduled when a donor was recently submitted, sources said.

Ezeli, who has yet to play a game for the Trail Blazers, will officially miss the entire 2016-17 season after signing a two-year, $15.2 million contract with the organization last offseason.

It is unknown exactly how long the recovery process will be, but one source said it could take up to a year.

Other professional athletes have used donated tissue.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is the most notable athlete to have had such a procedure. While with the Cincinnati Bengals, Palmer tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee during a 2006 playoff game. It was considered a career-threatening injury.

Palmer received a ligament from Julie De Rossi, who was killed by a drunken driver just 22 months earlier. She was 44. Following surgery and five months of rehabilitation, Palmer was able to run and took the Week 1 snap under center in 2007.

In 2006, the quarterback said of the donor: "Unfortunately, someone had to pass for my recovery to happen. If people didn't donate, my surgery, my recovery and everything else after isn't successful or even possible. It's a lot to think about, just how lucky I am."

Ezeli missed all of his first training camp with the Trail Blazers, as well as exhibition play, 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 Blazers announced that Ezeli's surgery will be performed by Dr. Robert LaPrade at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.

This story incorrectly stated that Ezeli was thought to be the first NBA player to use tissue from a cadaver donor in a surgical procedure.