Greg Oden and His Injury-Plagued Knee Still Aren’t Ready to Return to the Court

September 29, 2010 – 7:45 am by Eric Schmoldt

NBA camp is quickly approaching and once again it appears that Greg Oden’s knee isn’t going to allow him to be on the basketball court. Oden, the highly touted prospect out of Ohio State, has just one full season’s-worth of games, 82, in his first three years since joining the professional ranks.

Oden missed the entirety of what was supposed to be his rookie season with microfracture surgery in his right knee. In what turned out to be his rookie season, he averaged nearly nine points per game in 61 games during a season that saw foot and left knee injuries. Last season, it was back to the left knee as he fractured his patella and played just 21 games.

He’s still rehabbing his way back from that injury and once he does, it’s already time for what could be an interesting contract year.

Greg Oden joined KFXX in Portland with Isaac and Big Suke to discuss his rehab stints, what will be necessary in order for him to return to the court, how he feels right now, what it’s like to have the most scrutinized knees on the West Coast, whether he’s emotionally and mentally 100 percent and his future in Portland.

On comparing his rehab stints over the last couple years:

“Honestly, I couldn’t even compare the two because I don’t remember a lot of the stuff that I did with the microfracture. All I can remember with the microfracture is I was in the pool a lot and I am past that stage of being in the pool. This is totally different, the microfracture and this. The microfractures was the tissues and this was the actual bone, so it’s kind of tough to compare the two.”

On what the doctors need to see before he returns to full-contact:

“First, I need to feel 100 percent. No matter what they see or what happens, they’re not in my body. I have to feel 100 percent and feel confident in that I know that I can go out there and be the best that I can be, which is 100 percent. Then I have to be cleared by Dr. Roberts, who’s the guy that did my surgery. If he feels that I can do well enough, he’ll clear me.”

On how he feels right now:

“I’m feeling good, but I’m still not able to do everything that I want to do.” Like what? “Like I can’t play. … If I just was doing what I feel like I want to do, I would be out there trying to play in a game, but I can’t. I physically can’t.”

On what it’s like to have the most scrutinized knees in Portland:

“Haha, that’s funny. I don’t worry about it. It happened, this is the plate that’s been put in front of me, and I have to deal with it. I’m staying positive because I know I’m doing everything I possibly can to get myself back out there.”

On whether he’s mentally and emotionally 100 percent even though he’s not physically there yet:

“I feel in great spirits. I want to do everything I possibly can to bring a good aura to this team and around these guys. If I’m not out there, I want to be right there with these guys, shaking their hand, talking to them, being inside their head. … I want to be a little bit more prepared for when I do finally get out there and start playing.”

On whether there has been any discussions about his future in Portland with the new owner:

“No, because right now I need to concentrate on getting healthy. When I get healthy, then I can get on the court and that’s when that stuff comes up. Whenever I get on the court and do what I’m supposed to be doing on the court, that’s when that’s going to come up.”

Listen to the interview with Greg Oden on KFXX in Portland here

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