By Joe Becker
For the second straight year, Blazers prize center Greg Oden will miss the team's home opener, sitting out with a sprained right foot.
"Yeah, it sucks. I want to be out there," said Oden, "but what can you do. It could have happened to anybody out there."
Oden is right about that. It could have been Brandon Roy, or Kobe Bryant, or any one of the other players, to get injured. If you saw the replay it's easy to see it was just an accident.
Greg was walking in a boot at the practice facility and talked with the media on Thursday.
"I just threw off the crutches actually today," Oden said, " So, I'm walking right now and just getting stronger. I've been in the pool, so I'll probably be doing that until I can go on the bike without any problem, so I can get my cardio up."
Oden actually flashed some of his humor when he talked about getting hurt against the Lakers.
"We got in the back," said Oden, talking about Blazers Trainer Jay Jensen. He said Jay wanted to look at his right foot and Greg felt it was going to swell up. "Soon as he took off the tape I could already tell he shouldn't have did that, because he tried to retape it and it just didn't happen."
Oden says the swelling has gone down and Blazers coach Nate McMillan is encouraged that he should have the big man back in the lineup soon.
"If there is any good news out of that," says McMillan, "Is the fact that he is not lost for months. You know, we're looking at a week or so with this injury and we can get him back pretty soon."
For now, Nate says they will start Joel Przybilla at center. Joel started nearly all of last season when Oden was out with a knee injury.
"We'll have to make adjustments," says McMillan. "That's what the NBA is all about is adjustments."
Now, Oden will have to adjust to being on the sidelines again.
"I just know that I can't get big. I can't eat whatever I want to," says Oden. "I gotta eat healthy and I gotta stay right. I gotta stay involved. Cause, now I don't have a year. Right now, I gotta be here at practice because you know what? I can play pretty quick."
Former Dallas coach Avery Johnson put it in perspective the other night on ESPN saying that the Blazers would rather have Oden miss the first 2-4 weeks of the season then the last 2-4 weeks of the season.
It should still be a big impact year for Oden and the Blazers.