#1 NBA draft pick could be out for entire season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

#1 NBA draft pick could be out for entire season

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PORTLAND, Ore. - An exploratory arthroscopic surgery performed on Greg Oden Thursday revealed cartilage damage to the Portland Trail Blazers rookie's right knee. Oden is likely to miss the 2007-08 NBA season.

"Greg had an arthroscopy and a micro fracture surgery today," said team physician Dr. Don Roberts, who preformed the surgery. "He was found to have articular cartilage damage in his right knee. The area of injury was not large and we were able to treat it with micro fracture, which stimulates the growth of cartilage. There are things about this that are positive for Greg. First of all he is young. The area where the damage was is small and the rest of his knee looked normal. All those are good signs for a complete recovery from micro fracture surgery."

Oden is expected to be on crutches for up to eight weeks. Recovery time from micro fracture surgery varies from person to person, but generally takes between six and 12 months for full recovery.

"Certainly this is a setback, but our future is still incredibly bright," said Trail Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard. "Is it disappointing? Yes. However, this is a great core of talent and players of strong character and will continue to be."

Oden, the #1 pick in June's NBA Draft, averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds for Ohio State last season, leading the Buckeyes to the NCAA national championship game as a freshman.

"We know this discouraging news for all of our fans, however, the people of Portland are very enthusiastic and compassionate about their Trail Blazers and I know they will stand behind Greg and the team during his recovery," said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. "We believe our fans and sponsors are going to continue to support us because they know we're headed in the right direction."