Mike Conley Sr., says his client is recovering in his hometown of Indianapolis. Oden has been on crutches since the Feb. 20 procedure and is expected to remain on them for another five weeks. Conley says Oden briefly contemplated ending his career, but now is fully focused on rehab. Conley says the unrestricted free agent has expressed interest in playing for the hometown Pacers after he recovers.
Oden, who is out for the season, had the surgery on Monday in Vail, Colo. Although it was originally expected to be an arthroscopic procedure to clean out the 7-footer's knee, the surgeon determined there was additional damage. The former No.1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft has now had two microfracture surgeries on his left knee, and one on his right. He has also undergone surgery for a fractured left kneecap.
The often-injured 7-footer had the same surgery on his right knee earlier this month. Over the course of his NBA career, Oden has had microfracture surgery on both knees, as well as surgery to repair a fractured left kneecap. He has appeared in 82 career games for the Blazers, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds. It was not known when Oden might be able to play again.
"We're hopeful, but less confident that he will return to the court this season,'' Blazers President Larry Miller said in a statement. "We've stood by Greg from the day he was drafted and we continue to do so now with this agreement.'' The 7-foot Oden hasn't appeared in a game in two years. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent following this season.
Oden's acceptance of the offer was first reported by The Oregonian newspaper on Thursday morning. Agent Bill Duffy confirmed that Oden would sign the one-year deal on Friday, when the team opens training camp. The deal means that Oden will become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Oden is coming off of microfracture surgery on his left knee. An earlier microfracture surgery on his right knee postponed his rookie season.
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