Portland, shield your eyes and hide the sharp objects. The Portland Trail Blazers are about to break out the surgery punchcard one more time—two more knee surgeries and they get a free party sub—because Greg Oden is getting knee surgery. Again. Again.
PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden will undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee Friday and will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season, the Trail Blazers announced this evening.
Dr. Richard Steadman will perform the surgery with assistance from Trail Blazers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Don Roberts at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.
Oden, 22, has been sidelined since fracturing his left patella in a Dec. 5, 2009, game vs. Houston. A recent MRI showed damaged cartilage to the surface of his femur, and his current injury is unrelated to the fractured left patella.
Oden previously underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee Sept. 13, 2007.
Okay, breathe. Breathe. Stay with me, Blazers fans. First off, this is horrible, horrible news. No two ways about it. The fact that Oden will miss the remainder of a season he hasn't played in is a tough break for the franchise, but not the worst news here. Odds are, Oden's career in the NBA might be over. If that's not the case, his career as a Portland Trail Blazer is likely finished, as the former number one pick limps into the sunset as a free agent at the end of this season.
Love Oden, or hate Oden, this sort of thing should never happen to any player, not to mention a 22-year-old with a franchise on his shoulders and an NBA career that might be limited to a scant 82 games in four seasons. I hate to close the book on Oden forever—Grant Hill was once relegated to the injury scrapheap and recovered nicely to have a very long career—but for the time being, the last place you will see the man is on the court and in a Blazers uniform.
The team is streaming a press conference live on trailblazers.tv in a few minutes. We'll update from there.
Here is a screenshot from the press conference. Nate McMillan shows the city of Portland where the tears come from. He also described Oden as "devastated." Trainer Jay Jenson is very emotional and stated, "Greg doesn't deserve what's happened." He later added, "It felt like someone close to us had died." Ouch.
The team has also used this press conference to defend their medical staff, one that has come under fire in recent months following the onslaught of major injuries—mostly relegated to the knee region—this team has suffered recently.
Christ, this press conference is depressing. I feel like Jack Ruby is about to walk in and shoot someone. I think that's all for now. I need a drink, and if you are reading this right now, I suspect you do too.