The top pick in the NBA draft will likely spend the 2007-08 season on the bench after exploratory surgery on Greg Oden's right knee revealed cartilage damage, ESPN.com reports. The Portland Trail Blazers' 7-footer will spend eight weeks off after surgeons fixed the problem today with microfracture surgery, but it could take a year for Oden to recover fully.
It's a disappointment, but a team executive said the Blazers' future remains "incredibly bright." On his blog, Oden says he had been experiencing knee pain for a month, but kept quiet about it at first. "I would like for me to be playing and not seem like I'm a high-maintenance player, but things just keep on popping up," Oden wrote.