Bucks center Larry Sanders confirmed he would not return this season after surgery to repair eye socket fractures suffered last month, per Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Sanders' right eye socket was smashed when he was unintentionally elbowed by Houston guard James Harden while rebounding on Feb. 8. He underwent surgery six days later and said he is healing well. He previously missed six weeks early in the season after tearing a ligament in his thumb during a fight in a Milwaukee nightclub.
Sanders said he hopes the challenges of his fourth NBA season will help make him better as he starts a four-year, $44 million contract extension.
"I think you just take from it what you can," Sanders said of his unfulfilling season, with 23 games played and 20 starts. "It's funny you go through things in life and they help mold us into better people, if you learn from things.DEITSCH: Only one expectation for Phil Jackson in New York
"I think that's what this year was all about. Going through it is tough. But when you get through it you start to understand how you become better."