PORTLAND — Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, the former No. 1 draft pick whose short career has been marred by injuries, will have microfracture surgery on his left knee and will not play this season.
Oden hasn’t played since last December because he needed surgery to repair a fractured left patella. The Blazers say this operation, announced Wednesday night and scheduled for Friday in Vail, Colo., will repair damaged cartilage and is unrelated to the patella injury.
Oden, the first name announced in the 2007 NBA draft, missed his rookie season because of microfracture surgery on his right knee. The procedure stimulates cartilage growth.
Blazers trainer Jay Jensen said the latest problem with Oden’s left 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.”
The Blazers picked Oden instead of Kevin Durant, who went to Oklahoma City and has blossomed into one of the NBA’s best players.
— The Associated Press