Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, will miss the 2007-08 season after undergoing microfracture surgery Thursday, two league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Oden, a 7-footer from Ohio State, was found to have torn cartilage during exploratory surgery on his right knee and was operated on by team doctor Don Roberts in Vancouver, Wash. Most microfracture surgeries require eight months to a year for recovery.
"Greg had an arthroscopy and a microfracture surgery today," Roberts said in a Blazers statement. "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 microfracture, 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."
Oden had complained of soreness in his right knee, and an MRI that showed possible cartilage damage prompted the Blazers to schedule the exploratory surgery.
The season-ending injury is the latest in a string of health issues for Oden. His summer league debut was cut short after his tonsils were removed, and he missed several games of his freshman season at Ohio State while recovering from surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right wrist
In pre-draft physicals, there were several parts of his body, including his knees, that drew red-flag warnings and caused many NBA teams to wonder about his long-term durability.
"Certainly this is a setback, but our future is still incredibly bright," Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. "Is it disappointing? Yes. However, this is a great core of talent and players of strong character and will continue to be."