Gonzaga suffered a big loss just before the start of a brand new calendar year. Center Przemek Karnowski will miss the remainder of the season so he can undergo season-ending back surgery. Jim Meehan of the Spokesman-Review reported the news first, via Twitter, on Thursday afternoon.

Karnowski has been out of action all month, with his last appearance on the court coming on November 27 in a game against UConn. The big man gave Gonzaga a challenging inside to confront, and he averaged 8.8 points per game along with 5.4 rebounds per game. With Karnowski clogging up traffic underneath the basket, opposing teams had a difficult time scoring close to the basket. The loss of Karnowski is big and opens the door for Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer to get some playing time. The results so far in Karnowski’s absence have been decent.

Odds are Gonzaga will be able to survive the rest of the season without Karnowski in the regular season. It is when it comes time to play in the NCAA tournament that his absence will be felt strongest. Sabonis and Wiltjer may be able to suffice in the WCC, but keeping that going against teams making the tournament is a different story.

If there is a bright side to all of this news, it is that Karnowski will get a chance to do some binge watching of Orange is the New Black, Daredevil or maybe House of Cards.

[The Slipper Still Fits]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.