Former University of Kentucky star Darius Miller underwent surgery Thursday after recently rupturing his right Achilles tendon, according to the New Orleans Pelicans.
It’s not immediately known how long the Maysville native will be out of action, but Achilles injuries often lead to long recoveries. Kevin Durant, now with the Brooklyn Nets, is expected to miss all of the 2019-20 season after rupturing his Achilles during the NBA Finals in June.
Players who have returned after rupturing their Achilles “were unable to do so at their pre-injury level,” according to a study by American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons presented to USA Today.
Of 18 players who underwent Achilles surgical repair from 1988 to 2011, seven did not return to basketball, USA Today reported.
Another former Wildcat, DeMarcus Cousins, tore his Achilles in January 2018 during what was believed to be the peak of his career.
The injury to Miller, 29, came less than two months after he signed the largest contract in his professional career. Miller agreed to a two-year, $14.25 million deal to return to the Pelicans, where he has played his whole NBA career. The first year, worth $7.25 million is guaranteed. The second year, worth $7 million, is not, according to spotrac.com.
Last year, Miller averaged a career high 8.2 points per game while playing 69 games. He was expected to be a rotation player on a promising Pelicans team that added Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram in the offseason.
Miller, the 2008 Kentucky Mr. Basketball, won the Boys’ Sweet Sixteen with Mason County and an NCAA national championship with the Cats.