SEATTLE - Greg Oden, the top pick in this year's NBA draft, is likely to miss the entire season after undergoing knee surgery, the Portland Trail Blazers said on Thursday.
The team said on its Web site, www.nba.com/blazers, that exploratory arthroscopic surgery revealed cartilage damage to the right knee and will need close to 12 months for a full recovery.
"Greg had an arthroscopy and a micro fracture surgery today," team physician Dr. Don Roberts in a statement on the Web site. "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 micro fracture, 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 from micro fracture surgery."
The seven-foot (2.13 metres) freshman, who averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds leading Ohio State to the Buckeyes to the NCAA national championship game last season, is expected to be on crutches for up to eight weeks.
"Certainly this is a setback, but our future is still incredibly bright," said Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard. "Is it disappointing? Yes.
"However, this is a great core of talent and players of strong character and will continue to be."