Skip to main content

Rockets' Tari Eason to Undergo Season-Ending Leg Surgery

After weeks of speculation, the Houston Rockets have ruled Tari Eason out for the rest of the season due to an ongoing leg injury.

Tari Eason will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season, coach Ime Udoka announced following the Houston Rockets' 118-109 victory over the Phoenix Suns Saturday night. 

Udoka revealed that Eason will have season-ending surgery on Monday to resolve an ongoing leg injury. The surgery will keep Eason sidelined for four months. But Udoka added that Eason will be ready by the start of training camp for the 2024-25 season.

Tari Eason

Houston Rockets' Tari Eason's second season came to an early end due to an ongoing leg injury.

"He had a benign growth on the inside of his heel, tibia bone," Udoka said. "He took that blow early in the season, it flared up, he played through it with some pain. He never had a chance of fracturing or anything, but it was just a pain tolerance thing.

"Once the pain got too high, he shut it down. We thought rest and rehab could help him get over it that way, but every time we ramped up the workouts the pain came right back."

Eason has never dealt with a significant injury until an exhibition game against the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 10. Pacers' Jalen Smith rolled on Eason's leg during the Rockets' 122-103 preseason victory inside the Toyota Center.

The incident caused a "stress reaction" in Eason's left leg that began to flare up following his appearance against the New Orleans Pelicans two nights later. He has since missed 38 games. Following Saturday's win over the Suns, the Rockets are now 14-24 in Eason's absence.

Eason was one of 10 players who played all 82 games during the 2022-23 season. He finished his rookie year averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 21.5 minutes, which led to him joining Jabari Smith Jr. as one of five players named to the NBA's All-Rookie Second Team selection.

His name is already in the company of a pair of all-time greats when he became the third rookie to tally 80 or more steals and 40 or more blocks since the 1980-81 season — joining James Worthy and Scottie Pippen.

In 22 games played during his second year, Eason established himself as a major part of Udoka's rotation, averaging 9.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals.