Last Saturday Greg Oden sat in an examination room, huddled around a computer with Trail Blazers trainer Jay Jensen and team doctor Don Roberts. They had gathered to view the results of a recent MRI on Oden’s left knee.
Dr. Roberts double-clicked and an image filled the screen. What appeared was shocking—the last thing they expected. Jensen shuddered.
Unable to read the results, Oden had to wait to hear what Roberts and Jensen knew immediately: he would need another microfracture surgery.
After breaking the news, the three remained practically silent for almost ten minutes, trying simply to gather themselves enough to begin process the reality and scope.
The discovery was so disturbing, Jensen said, not only because of the many freak injuries Oden has endured in recent years, but because it came on without warning or explanation. And just when he was finally getting close to the return.
The Blazers believe the injury, what is being called a “defect in the articular surface,” basically the head of the femur bone, occurred on Sunday, November 7th in Los Angeles. Portland were in town to play the Lakers. And as they’ve been doing lately, Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla took to the court for a little pre-game workout and rehab.
Oden went through his drills with aplomb. His workout was being captured for the national TV audience. From the bit he saw, Jensen remembers the 22-year-old looking “explosive.”
According to Jensen, there wasn’t a particular moment in the workout where Oden to tweaking anything, or feeling pain. It concluded as usual.
Back in Portland the next day to attend the memorial for Maurice Lucas, Oden told Jensen of soreness in his left knee. There was some swelling, but it was thought to be a result of the recent increase in physical activity, as Oden was still rehabbing the same knee from a broken patella suffered nearly a year ago.
There was no evidence or suspicion of any greater problems. Tuesday, November 8th, Dr. Roberts drained Oden’s knee.
Wednesday, the Blazers brought Elliot Williams and Brandon Roy to Los Angeles to receive a second opinions on their own knee-related issues from Dr. Neal S Elattrache, an ortheopedic specialist. They brought Oden along as well.
Dr. Elattrache’s hypothesis matched that of the Blazers and Dr. Roberts—that the swelling and pain was likely due to increased activity related to recovery from the original 2009 patella injury. Dr. Elattrache dubbed the swelling “not unusual,” and Oden rejoined the team who were traveling once again.
On Thursday, a day before the Blazers would play the Thunder, Jensen saw Oden at the team hotel in Oklahoma City. The knee was still swollen and painful. The Blazers called for an MRI.
The results came in Saturday. A second-opinion Tuesday night confirmed it—Oden would be out another year.SEE ALSO:
- Press Conference Video
- Injury Specifics & Medical Stuff
- Press Conference Notes