Greg Oden to Undergo Surgery, Likely Out for the Season

Shady BotrosAnalyst IDecember 6, 2009

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 04:  Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers during play against the Dallas Mavericks on February 4, 2009 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Saturday night, during a game against the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden fractured his patella which means he’ll undergo surgery and be out for season.

It is really sad to see Greg Oden with another long term injury, especially due to the fact that Oden already suffered an injury which forced him to sit out his rookie year after being the first overall pick.

The 7 footer clutched his left knee after colliding while Aaron Brooks was driving. Oden was immediately surrounded by trainers and physicians and the Rose Garden was in shock. The game was stopped for about seven minutes and finally Oden left the court in a stretcher and was taken for some MRIs.

The previous first overall pick’s career has continued to be plagued with injuries. In case you don’t remember Oden was healthy for his year at Ohio State in which he was absolutely dominant. In fact, NBADraft.net went as far as calling Oden the next Bill Russell.

While Oden may never be the next Bill Russell he has shown some flashes and does have the tools to make him a dominant center in the NBA. Coming off an offseason in which Oden conditioned well and lost weight, Oden had been having a solid season averaging about 12 points and nine rebounds a game.

This is not the first season ending injury the Blazers have suffered as forward Travis Outlaw fractured his foot back in November.

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Other injuries have plagued the Blazers such as Nicolas Batum needing surgery before the opener against Houston, forward Rudy Fernandez did not play Saturday night and it is uncertain whether he’ll be traveling with the team for the four game road trip coming up. Even Blazers head coach Nate McMillan is going to undergo surgery after rupturing his right Achilles’ tendon during practice as he will be missing the upcoming road trip and be replaced by assistant head coach Dean Demopoulos.

Back to Oden, this is a guy who is regarded as one of the nicest young players in the league. Oden has had nothing but the burden for being the guy picked first overall and more importantly being the guy picked ahead of Kevin Durant.

However, I do believe that almost every GM would’ve gone with the 7 footer due to the fact that having a dominant big man is such a rarity in this league. There are probably less than a handful of quality centers and the Blazers thought that this was their chance to get a center like Oden who had a massive upside. In fact, there is only two starting centers averaging at least 18 points and 10 rebounds, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.

Do I think that you can now automatically call Greg Oden a bust? Absolutely not. By the time next season rolls around Oden will be 22, and big men don’t typically peak until around 30-years-old. Which means Oden has a lot of time, and with some hard work and luck hopefully Oden can return to playing basketball, and justify prove that he can be a great center in this league.


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