Kiwi centre Steven Adams now seems unlikely to take the court for Memphis Grizzlies during their upcoming NBA playoff run.
Adams, 29, hasn't played since spraining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in January, diving for a loose ball againt Phoenix Suns. His initial prognosis was 3-5 weeks on the sideline, before he was eventually ruled out for the rest of the regular season.
With just two days left in the season, ESPN reports he will likely miss the post-season, after receiving stem cell injections in the knee last month.
The Grizzlies have shown amazing durability without their starting centre, and a myriad other injuries and offcourt distractions, finishing second in the Western Conference with a 51-30 record, finishing 1.5 games behind Denver Nuggets.
They have also had to cope with a season-ending injury to Adams' back-up, Brandon Clarke, while negotiating the fallout from superstar Ja Morant's gun-weilding social media post that saw him miss two weeks for counseling.
During his rehab, Adams has remained active in the Memphis locker-room, reportedly warning his teammates about their road-trip habits, even before Morant's lapse at a Denver nightclub.
Before his injury, he averaged 8.6 points and a career-high 11.5 rebounds over 42 games, while the Grizzlies were 28-14 with him in their line-up. Adams signed a two-year, US$25.2 million contract extension before this current season.
Memphis will face the winners of the sudden-death LA Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans play-in game in the first round of the post-season.