Oft-injured May to miss Charlotte's season following knee surgery

Updated: October 6, 2007, 3:19 PM ET
Associated Press

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Charlotte Bobcats forward Sean May will miss the season after deciding to undergo microfracture surgery on his troublesome right knee.

May will have the surgery Tuesday in New York. Recovery time will take six to 12 months.

Sean May

May

"It's extremely frustrating," May said Friday in a phone interview.

May, the 13th pick in the 2005 draft, has played in only 58 of 164 games over the past two seasons. He had surgery to remove cartilage during his rookie season, then developed a bone bruise last year.

May said he had been cleared to play again three weeks ago, but had some swelling in the knee after workouts.

May underwent an MRI exam that revealed a troubling piece of cartilage in the knee. He missed the start of training camp to see a specialist in New York. Before seeking another opinion in Alabama, May decided to go under the knife.

"It came out of nowhere and that was probably the most shocking thing," May said. "I was on Cloud 9. I had finally just started to come back. And boom, I'm back to square one, sitting out again."

May's absence leaves the Bobcats extremely thin in the frontcourt. General manager Rod Higgins said they could sign a veteran big man. Marc Jackson, who played for New Orleans last season, is unsigned.

"It's a huge loss for us," Higgins said. "There are some free agents still out there. We've talked about a lot of guys. Marc Jackson is one of those names."

May's surgery will be performed by Dr. David Altchek in New York. May will be on crutches for six to eight weeks before beginning his rehabilitation.

"We are hopeful that his procedure will allow him to resume his career and be the player he wants to be," Bobcats team physician Glenn Perry said.

The procedure includes creating tiny holes in bones around the knee to try to stimulate cartilage growth. The surgery was once considered risky, but several football and basketball players have made successful recoveries in recent years.

No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden of the Portland Trail Blazers underwent microfracture surgery last month.

The 23-year-old May acknowledged the procedure concerns him.

"If I told you no I'd be lying," May said. "Anfernee Hardaway was out a couple of years. Darius Miles is just now starting to get back. Allan Houston. The only difference between me and those guys is they were a lot older. The older they are, the harder it is to come back from."

The 6-foot-9 May has averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in his limited playing time, including a 32-point game against Orlando last season.

"I will be back," May said. "I'll be strong and I'll be fine. It's just going to take a year."

May's injury is one of several concerns for Charlotte up front. Forward Othella Harrington is out for the preseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Center Primoz Brezec has yet to report camp to tend to a family matter, leaving Ryan Hollins as the current starting center.

May's absence will likely lead to more playing time for rookie Jared Dudley, the 22nd pick in the draft.

But coach Sam Vincent acknowledged he'd like another big man.

"It would help," Vincent said. "But wanting a veteran big and having to deal with the salary cap and all the other issues involved, is something management has to deal with."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press