Zaza Pachulia may have played his last game with the Hawks.
He definitely has played his last game this season.
Pachulia, plagued by a sore right Achilles for two months, will have surgery to repair a partial tear of the tendon and will miss the remainder of the season. The center and fan favorite, who has spent the past eight seasons with the Hawks, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
Pachulia will have surgery April 3 at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina. Hawks team physician Dr. Michael Bernot will be present.
The expected recovery time is approximately six months, meaning Pachulia could be ready before the start of training camp next season.
The injury suffered Jan. 21 has cost Pachulia 21 games, including the past 15 before Saturday’s game against the Magic. He sought several medical opinions from doctors in and out of the organization.
“Talking to team doctors, independent doctors, friends, former athletes who have dealt with this injury, we all were trying to come up with the right decision,” Pachulia said. “I think this is the right decision, for my career, for myself, and that way I will be able to come back as soon as possible and strong and play the sport I love. This is my life. To be back on the court as soon as possible, this was the best way.”
Pachulia (6-foot-11, 275 pounds) appeared in 52 games this season, including 15 starts, and averaged 5.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28.3 minutes. He set the franchise record for offensive rebounds in a quarter (seven) in a game against the Bucks on Feb. 23.