Washington Bullets center Pervis Ellison, who missed the final 28 games of the 1992-93 season with a strained left knee, underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to remove cartilage from both knees.
Ellison will spend the next 12 weeks in a rehabilitation program designed by the team's medical staff. It is expected that he will be back on the court by August, and that he will be able to rejoin the Bullets in their October training camp.
Hampered by leg problems since his rookie year in Sacramento after the Kings made him the No. 1 pick in the 1988 draft, Ellison played in only 49 games this past season.
"It's great to have the surgery behind me," said the 6-foot-10 center. "Now I'll able to move ahead instead of suffering from nagging pain."
Dr. Lonnie Pavlos, who performed the surgery at Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Salt Lake City, said: "Although there was some damage, I'm very optimistic about Pervis' recovery. The surgery went very well."
The Bullets will monitor Ellison's recovery carefully. How soon he is able to resume playing could influence their choice in the NBA draft, with 7-6 center Shawn Bradley of Brigham Young and 6-9 power forward Chris Webber of Michigan viewed as the top two prospects.
NOTES: Wes Unseld, who was rehired as Bullets coach Tuesday, yesterday declined to elaborate on why he chose to stay on the job. "I still need time to clear my head," said Unseld, who had pondered retiring after a 22-60 record last season.