Greg Oden won’t be ready for start of season
Even if the NBA season gets underway on Christmas Day, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden will not be ready to play.
The oft-injured Oden is not expected to return to the court until January at the earliest.
He has not played since fracturing his left patella in December 2009. The 7-footer underwent microfracture knee surgery in November 2010.
The top overall pick in the 2007 draft, Oden has been besieged by injuries. He missed the entire 2007-08 season with a right knee injury that required microfracture surgery and chipped his left kneecap in February 2009.
In all, Oden has played just 82 of a possible 328 games in his career. He has averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
The Trail Blazers extended Oden a one-year, $8.8 million qualifying offer in June, making him a restricted free agent.
Oden must decide whether to accept the offer for the upcoming season and become a free agent in 2012, try to work out a long-term contract extension or see if another team signs him to an offer sheet during the NBA free-agent period that is expected to begin Dec. 9.