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Ball Don't Lie

Greg Oden’s not even healthy enough for knee surgery

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Greg Oden (Sam Forencich/Getty)

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden has been one of the most disappointing draft picks in league history, to the point where it's difficult even to call him a bust. He's been injured so many times, and missed so many games, that it's been hard to get a sense of his ceiling, or what could reasonably be expected of him if he were to stay healthy enough to play. He's a suggestion of an NBA player more than a real one, these days.

In fact, his health is now such a problem that he's not even able to undergo knee surgery on the timetable he'd hoped for. From Ben Golliver of Blazersedge.com (via PBT):

Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan said Friday that center Greg Oden is still not clear for surgery on his left knee because of the ankle blood clots. "Nothing new," he said. "The doctors in Colorado are addressing his blot clot and once that is complete Greg will have the surgery on his left knee."

Friday marks two weeks since Oden's right knee surgery. The Blazers had said repeatedly the plan was for Oden to undergo left knee surgery within 10 days to two weeks.

That's three injuries mentioned in five sentences, if you need the math written out for you. That's a lot of problems, obviously, and fairly bad news considering Oden will be a free agent this summer. If he wants an NBA job, he's probably going to have a hard time coasting on his old reputation as a defensive game-changer. Instead, he'll have to take a job with few expectations — maybe even a D-League spot — and work his way up from there.

It's an unfortunate turn of events for a guy who once held so much promise. But it's also way past time to get realistic about his career prospects. Sadly, if the injuries keep piling up, retirement might be the next decision.

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