Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski to undergo season-ending back surgery

(Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant via AP)
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Gonzaga’s 7-foot-1 center Przemek Karnowski will miss the rest of the season as he is set to undergo season-ending back surgery on Thursday, a source told NBCSports.com’s Raphielle Johnson.

Karnowski has not played since Nov. 27th, when Gonzaga beat UConn in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The injury was initially said to be back spasms, but there have been reports that he is dealing with a bulging disc.

Karnowski is only averaging 8.8 points and 5.4 boards this season, but his value to this Gonzaga team goes beyond his numbers. He’s by far the best defensive presence they have, a massive human being that knows how to go vertical around the rim. He’s not much of an athlete, but is size and length makes him a rim protector, and as talented as Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer are on Mark Few’s front line, they are no where near the defenders.

This season has already been a bit disappointing for Gonzaga, as they have felt the loss of their senior guards more than some initially expected. Without Karnowski in the mix now, this does not have the feel of a Gonzaga team that can make a run to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Karnowski has only played in five games this season, meaning that the senior will be eligible for a medical redshirt.

The news was first reported by the Spokesman Review.