Kenyon Martin is sidelined for the season following knee surgery. ((Jeff Roberson/Associated Press))

Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin learned Wednesday that he will miss the rest of the season following right knee surgery.

Martin, 28, underwent arthroscopic surgery Wednesday to remove loose cartilage, but the procedure revealed significantly more damage.

"Right now, I'm at a loss for words," he said. "You know what I'm saying?

"I worked my butt off in training camp. For this to happen now, I'm down in the dumps."

Martin started two games this season, scoring 19 points and pulling down 20 rebounds in 63 minutes, but couldn't pinpoint how he hurt his knee.

"It is very difficult to lose him, he has been a leader," Nuggets forward Eduardo Najera said. "And he sets the tone with his aggressive play and personality. "

Martin was drafted first overall by the New Jersey Nets in 2000, and traded to Denver for three first-round picks on July 15, 2004.

The Cincinnati product has averaged 14.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 32.9 minutes in 411 NBA games (398 starts) for the Nets and Nuggets.

"It's incredibly despondent for the team," Nuggets head coach GeorgeKarl said. "I feel for him, I feel for his career."

Martin has five years and more than $66 million US remaining on his contract.

With files from the Associated Press