Greg Oden's NBA career suffered another stunning setback with Wednesday night's announcement that the former Ohio State center will undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee Friday in Vail, Colo.
Made the No. 1 overall pick byof the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007, Oden will miss the 2010-11 season. The 7-footer hasn't played since December after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left kneecap. The Blazers said in a press conference that this week's procedure is to repair cartilage damage and is not related to the patella injury.
Oden sat out his rookie year after microfracture surgery on his right knee.
"We sat there and it was like we'd been kicked in the stomach," visibly choked up Blazers trainer Jay Jensen told the Associated Press. "It felt like hearing someone close to us had died."
Last season Oden averaged 11.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots. He's played in just 82 career games.
"Some things you just can't explain," Blazers coach Nate McMillan told the AP. "As you can expect, the young man is devastated.''
Will the highlight of Oden's basketball career be his 2006 appearance in the NCAA Championship game with Ohio State?
Former Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas dealt with similar injury issues at the beginning of his career. Oden's challenge to play again mirrors the odds overcome by Z.