Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said before Friday night's 122-112 loss to Washington that Leuer did not want to go the season-ending route at first and "gave it everything he could to try to get back," but just couldn't get there.
"It was a big loss, particularly at the defensive end but even at the offensive end with his speed and quickness and stuff," Van Gundy said. "So it's unfortunate. It's unfortunate for him. He worked really, really hard in the offseason and, so, as much as it was tough for us, really tough for him.
"He's tried everything to get back. He really tried everything, did not want to go to the root of anything season-ending right up to the very last day early this week."
Leuer sprained his left ankle in a 113-93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 31 and has been inactive since. In eight games this year, he averaged 5.4 points and four rebounds in 17.1 minutes. When Leuer went down, the Pistons used a combination of Anthony Tolliver and Eric Moreland to fill his role at both forward (Tolliver) and center (Moreland).
Leuer had given Detroit positional flexibility at forward and center -- especially defensively because of his athleticism.
The Detroit News reported Leuer's surgery will be next Friday and that the rehabilitation time will take four months. The injury was initially diagnosed as an ankle sprain, but a subsequent exam has revealed bone fragments, among other issues, according to the News.
"It's extremely frustrating. Disappointing, anger, all those emotions ... we were trying to do whatever we could to avoid this," Leuer told the News earlier Friday. "I knew even a month and a half ago when I saw the specialist that he kind of suggested [surgery] right away, but we wanted to see if we could try to manage the pain and hopefully get through the season.
"As I tried to progress, time and time again, I never even got really close to being able to practice or do full basketball activities."
Van Gundy said Friday that Leuer's injury wouldn't necessarily mean the franchise would be more likely to make a move at the trade deadline on Feb. 8.
"We don't have a roster spot, so whatever," Van Gundy said. "We're like everybody. You look for things to see if there's some way you can upgrade your team but, you know, right now, there's nothing."