What should the Blazers do?
PORTLAND -- Trail Blazers center Greg Oden underwent successful microfracture surgery on his left knee Friday in Colorado, after it was determined he would be out for the rest of the 2010-2011 season.
“We are pleased that Greg's surgery went as planned and we are here to support him fully in his rehabilitation,” said General Manager Rich Cho. “I have a great deal of confidence that Greg will work hard and do all that is asked of him in order to get back on the court.”
At a Wednesday night press conference, Blazers coach Nate McMillan said: "As you can expect, the young man is devastated."
Timeline: Greg Oden's career with Trail Blazers
Oden, 22, hasn't played since December 2009, when he fractured his left patella during a home game against the Houston Rockets.
Background: Injury ends Oden's 2009 season
Oden previously underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September 2007.
McMillan confronted the perceived curse that has hung over his oft-injured 7-foot center. There's a tendency to grasp for answers why Oden is injury-prone, or why former Blazers Bill Walton or more infamously Sam Bowie were, too.
McMillan said the truth is that it's merely an unfortunate coincidence.
"A recent MRI showed damaged cartilage to the surface of his femur, and his current injury is unrelated to the fractured left patella," the Blazers wrote in a press release.
Blazers trainer Jay Jensen said the latest problem with Oden's knee became apparent about two weeks ago when he experienced some pain and fluid in the joint. Soon thereafter, an MRI revealed the damage. "We sat there and it was like we'd been kicked in the stomach," Jensen said, choking up. "It felt like hearing someone close to us had died."
This news comes after the Blazers announced just last month that they would not offer a contract extension to Oden. The No. 1 draft pick has only played in 82 games since signed by the Blazers in 2007.
When the Blazers took Oden in the NBA draft, enthusiasm was so high that more than 10,000 fans filled Pioneer Courthouse Square for his welcoming party. However, his career with the Blazers has been characterized by brief glimpses of potential never realized due to a series of long-lasting injuries.
Oden's struggles to stay healthy, and the soaring success of Kevin Durant, taken second in the same draft year by Seattle, has led to comparisons with the fate of Sam Bowie, whom the Blazers drafted over Michael Jordan. Also a big man, Bowie was plagued by injuries, while Jordan became the greatest star of his generation of players.
The bad news about Oden is just the latest in a series of medical ailments facing the Blazers. All-Star guard Brandon Roy is out for a few games after having problems with his left knee.
More: Roy battling knee injury
The Associated Press contributed to this report