In the first preseason game and the day before his birthday, Cody Zeller suffered a broken nose after receiving an elbow to his face from Andre Iguodala in the Portland Trail Blazers loss against the Golden State Warriors on Monday.
The injury will sideline Zeller for the start of the season as he will need surgery to repair it. Head coach Chauncey Billups confirmed it to the media after Wednesday’s practice.
“He’s having surgery on Friday. His joint was flat, all the way flat, crushed. They tried to get it to where they could set it and it didn’t work out. He has to have surgery on it. Just unlucky, too. On a play like that. I felt bad for Cody.”
The injury happened late in the third quarter as Iguodala received the ball for an open dunk and when he was on his way down, accidentally, hit Zeller with his elbow in the face. After that, the center had to leave the game after playing 13 minutes and putting in 8 points and 7 rebounds.
With the injury, the Blazers lose some size and will have to go with Larry Nance Jr. as their backup for Jusuf Nurkic in the meantime Zeller recovers.
Zeller signed with Portland during the offseason after playing for eight years in Charlotte, seven with the Hornets and one with the Bobcats, with averages of 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in his time there.