“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We know Chet has a long career ahead of him within our organization and the Oklahoma City community. One of the things that most impressed us during the process of selecting Chet was his determination and focus. We expect that same tenacity will carry him through this period of time as we work together and support him during his rehabilitation.”
Presti told reporters later Thursday during an availability session that Holmgren will have foot surgery after the Thunder consulted with three of the nation’s top foot specialists. Presti confirmed that Holmgren suffered a ruptured tendon in his foot and not a fracture, noting that the Thunder were optimistic about his long-term recovery but that they would be “extremely conservative.”
Holmgren’s size was a frequent topic of debate throughout his lone season at Gonzaga and during the weeks leading into the draft, as critics questioned whether his 7-foot-1, 195-pound frame would withstand the physical rigors of NBA basketball. Presti emphasized, however, that the “contact injury” was unrelated to Holmgren’s size.
The game was canceled in the second quarter because of the condition of the court. The unusually humid day in Seattle combined with a full crowd caused repeated wet spots and condensation. Presti said he did not consider the condensation to be a factor in Holmgren’s injury.