LEXINGTON, Ky. — University of Kentucky forward Jason Parker underwent nearly two hours of reconstructive surgery on Monday to replace the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and repair two small tears in the cartilage below the kneecap.
Parker, a 6-foot-8, 255-pound forward who started all 34 games for Kentucky last season, tore the ligament during a pickup basketball game at UK's Seaton Center on June 24.
After the surgery, performed with tissue from a cadaver, doctors said Parker faces months of rehabilitation but still could play basketball next season.
"The principal rehabilitation will take four to six months and will include a combination of physical therapy and athletic training," Dr. David Caborn said.
"It's possible he could play (following the rehabilitation period), but it's really difficult to say because there are so many variables. Ultimately, what will be done will be in Jason's best interest and to make sure he is not at high risk of re-injury."
Both the injury and the surgery were similar to those experienced by former Kentucky star and current San Antonio Spurs forward Derek Anderson during the 1996-97 season, Caborn said.
Parker was in good spirits after the surgery and began immediate physical therapy with quadriceps activation, full extension and continuous passive motion while still in the recovery room. He was discharged from the hospital in good condition after the procedure.