Yet another knee surgery won't knock Greg Oden out of the NBA. Not yet, anyway.
Despite undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee -- the second microfracture procedure Oden has needed on the knee in the last two years -- the Trail Blazers center has no plans to retire, a source close to Oden told SI.com.
The latest knee surgery -- Oden's fifth overall -- came Monday after doctors performing a minor operation on Oden's knee determined there was additional damage. The recovery time is expected to be one year.
"It's hard to put into words the heartbreak for everyone involved, but especially for Greg," said Blazers president Larry Miller. "He's a young man who has experienced a great number of physical challenges in his playing career and today is yet another significant setback for him. We have a lot of empathy for Greg and his family during this difficult time."
Oden, 24, has been ravaged by injuries since Portland made him the top pick in the 2007 draft. Microfracture surgery on his right knee sidelined him for all of his rookie season and Oden has been limited to just 82 games over the last five seasons. The Blazers were optimistic that Oden could contribute this year, agreeing to a one-year, $8.9 million before the season. But after problems were detected in his left knee, the deal was restructured to pay him just $1.5 million.
In total, Oden has collected $23 million from the Blazers.
While it's unlikely Portland will offer Oden a contract after this season, the team believes he can still have a future.
"Greg's still very young, in relative terms, for a professional basketball player," acting GM Chad Buchanan told reporters. "He's recovered from a couple of these before. His last two microfracture lesions have healed fine. So there's no reason to think he couldn't come back as long as he shows the work ethic and desire that he's had in the past to come back. I think it's premature to speculate anything beyond that."