You’ve heard the news by now: The Portland Trail Blazers announced this week that Greg Oden will undergo season-ending microfracture surgery on Friday. He is out for the rest of the season and may have already played his last game for the Blazers since the team declined to offer him a contract extension earlier this year.
The fantasy implications? None. You weren’t expecting him to play this season, were you? If you happen to play in a deep league and had Oden stashed on your bench, feel to drop him for life.
The first question that popped into my head when I read the news was how did this happen? All I had heard about Oden up to the big announcement was that he was working his way back into shape and could be expected back on the court sometime in December. How did things go from he’s coming back soon to season-ending surgery?
Practice happened. In what is becoming a disturbing trend for Oden, his knee swelled up after a non-contact practice two Sundays ago. A few exams and an MRI later and it was discovered that Oden had a “defect in his articular surface of his left knee.” I may not know what that phrase means, but Blazersedge has transcription of a statement from trainer Jay Jensen, in which he describes the circumstances around Greg Oden’s latest injury. According to Jensen:
“It’s called articular cartilage. It’s different from meniscus cartilage. It’s on the end of the bone. If you eat a chicken bone, the white part on the end of the bone, that’s the articular cartilage. For lack of a better term, it’s like hitting a nine iron and taking a divot out of the grass, it’s a hole in that part of the cartilage. Or if you peel off a little section of orange, that’s what the articular cartilage is. That would be the best kind of analogy I can give you.”
Of course, now I’m thinking about eating Greg Oden’s knee, but at least it makes some sense after reading.
Blazersedge also has a post up about Future of Oden and the Blazers (among many others). You can almost smell the disillusionment off the screen, which is expected every time you think that the Blazers could have drafted Kevin Durant instead of Oden.
Zach Harper takes a look at all of Oden’s injuries to examine whether they are flukes or not. I’m no doctor, but when you fracture your kneecap jumping and require microfracture surgery after a practice, I’m going to guess it’s something more than just being unlucky and that there might be issues with your body.
More on the Oden’s health and contract situation from Basketball Prospectus (the article includes the fact that only one other NBA player – Kenyon Martin – has had microfracture surgery on both knees).
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