Nuggets' Martin needs surgery on right knee this time

Updated: November 9, 2006, 9:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DENVER -- Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin said Thursday that he could miss between six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee.

Martin, who was returning from microfracture surgery on his left knee, missed Wednesday's loss to the New York Knicks with swelling in the right knee after an MRI revealed he'd need surgery.

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"I haven't really got a definite answer yet," Martin told the Rocky Mountain News. "We're working on it now, just trying to get a date that we're going to do the surgery and see how long [the recovery is] actually going to be."

Nuggets trainer Jim Gillen told The Associated Press that he hopes the surgery will take place in the next few days. He said he's not sure how long Martin will be sidelined.

"As of right now, we're in limbo," Gillen said.

At the Nuggets' shootaround Wednesday, Martin talked about how good his surgically repaired left knee felt and how he was getting back to full strength for the first time since undergoing microfracture surgery 18 months ago.

He was taped up and ready to play against the New York Knicks when a team doctor went into the locker room and sent him for tests on his swollen right knee.

"Right now I'm at a loss for words, you know what I'm saying? I worked my butt off in training camp. For this to happen now, I'm down in the dumps," Martin told The Associated Press. "But I've dealt with worse, so I've just got to fight through it."

Last year, Martin was limited to a career-low 56 games and he was suspended in the playoffs for his tirade at the coaching staff for limiting his minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Conventional wisdom said K-Mart had played his last game for Denver, but with five years and more than $66 million left on his contract, he didn't get a ticket out of town that everybody expected.

Instead, he and coach George Karl patched up their relationship.

Martin, who averaged 9.5 points and 10 rebounds in Denver's first two games, said he has no idea how or when he hurt his "good" knee.

"That's the most frustrating thing," Martin said. "I have no clue. None whatsoever. How I did it or what day I did it."

He's just wondering when his luck will turn.

"I need something. Rabbit's foot, something," he said. "I have no idea at this point what Kenyon needs to do."

At least the Nuggets have a bevy of big men again this season, including Reggie Evans and Joe Smith.

"This is an unfortunate situation that you hate to see a teammate go through, but at the same time this is where the depth helps," Smith said.

Eduardo Najera, who replaced him in the lineup Wednesday night, called Martin's loss a big blow.

"It's very difficult to lose him. He's been a leader and he sets the tone with his aggressive play and personality," Najera said. "It will take some time for us to adjust.

"I think that Martin is irreplaceable, but combined all our big guys can do a pretty good job."

SportsTicker and The Associated Press contributed to this story.