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Greg Oden is "on schedule to heal"

Aug 21, 2010, 10:07 PM EDT

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

The Oregonian spoke with Greg Oden at a charity event this weekend. And after a season lost to a knee injury, Oden says that he is “on schedule to heal” and be ready for the start of the new season. John Canzano notes that the Blazers aren’t pushing him to get back and are allowing him to go at his own pace, the same way they have throughout his career.

Ah, the familiar stories of a new season.

Okay, enough jokes. Greg Oden went though a lot of pain. Breaking your knee is not only something that hurts like hell when it happens, then you’ve got the months and months of rehab on a body that’s already suffered severe knee injuries. So what Oden’s going through is extremely difficult, and the fact that he’s in a position to return at all speaks to his work ethic.

One of these times, Greg Oden is not going to get injured. He’s just going to be another center in the NBA, with great size and ability, capable of making a significant impact for his team. Are the injuries always going to be a concern? Yes. But the biggest mistake we make is in casting these injuries as something he can control. Oden didn’t ask for this bone structure, nor for the freak injuries that created his particular situation. It’s merely another bad thing that happened to someone.

It doesn’t mean we should hold our breath until Oden’s able to finish a season, till he’s a legitimately dominant center in this league. His body may simply never allow him to get there. As a matter of fact, any setbacks this season, injury-related or otherwise, and the Blazers may very well cut bait on the former Ohio State standout. But the odds are just as good that his knees will hold up, that he’ll be strong enough to recover, that the Blazers’ tactic of being patient, even gentle, with Oden will lead to the best possible result. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Greg Oden is not Sam Bowie 2.0. Nor is he likely to be a superstar from what we know now. But on October 26th, he’ll likely be in uniform as a center for the Portland Trail Blazers. And that’s a start.

  1. don - Aug 21, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    I agree with everything except for the last line. It’s true that none of us know whether his body will hold up or not. It’s possible that he could go the next 10 years without an injury. It’s also possible that he could never finish a season healthy.
    But for those of us in Portland, for those of us who really follow his game more than 2-3 flashes on ESPN’s Sportscenter, we’ve seen a young man who can literally change games when he plays…in ways that very few people can. Most of what he does won’t ever show up on the stat sheet, but after 2 blocks in the first 5 minutes…and opponents pushing on him with no more success than they’d have moving a tree, teams start settling for jump shots. I’ll say it…if Oden is healthy (still a huge “if”, he will be a superstar and an all star for years to come.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 21, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    What we do know is that Portland made a serious mistake in not taking Durant. It’s not a second guess when you say it BEFORE the draft and I said it…along with alot of people…who said Oden should not have been the first pick.

  3. Craig W. - Aug 22, 2010 at 3:07 AM

    Chris Fiorentino,
    It is like the Michael Jordan situation – with Clyde Drexler already playing the SG. Portland already had players that looked to make their SF position strong, but had not young and powerful center.
    While we can always look back and say what if, most organizations with the same strengths and weaknesses would make the same decision.

  4. Craig W. - Aug 22, 2010 at 3:10 AM

    Chris Fiorentino,
    It is like the Michael Jordan situation – with Clyde Drexler already playing the SG. Portland already had players that looked to make their SF position strong, but had not young and powerful center.
    While we can always look back and say what if, most organizations with the same strengths and weaknesses would make the same decision.

  5. Drew - Aug 22, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    If I were Portland management, I would still be standing behind the decision to take Oden. Durant, while many projected him to be a great player, is still a candidate that comes along semi-frequently. Dominant centres do not.
    As a nutritionist, I wonder what kind diet and nutritional program some of these guys are on. Nutritional deficiency leaves you susceptible for greater injuries. It could just be a series of bad luck. Not much you can do if there is a blunt trauma, but still I wonder.

  6. luffy - Aug 22, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    It seems you don’t watch the NCAA tournament. Any team that has the 1st round pick back then will definitely pick Oden. Durant was good but Oden was the real deal back then, just unfortunate because of the damn injuries…

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