Interview: Blazers' Oden talks about injury, recovery

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden spoke with the media following the Blazers’ Thursday morning shootaround at the team’s practice facility in Tualatin, Ore.

Oden on maintaining his focus and staying upbeat:

I don’t think I have to keep it, because it’s not ever going to leave. It’s just a mindset that I’m going to have. I’ve been through injuries before. All I know is if I go and work hard, I’m definitely going to come back from the injury. An injury’s nothing that you’re not going to come back from. I’m definitely — I don’t want to say blessed; but I know there’s a lot of people are going through a lot more worse things than what I am — coach (Maurice Lucas) and Mr. (owner Paul) Allen. So, with this, this is just a minor thing in life. There’s definitely bigger things you’ve got to worry about.

On how he is feeling:

I’m all right. … I’ve got more energy these days. I’m not really on as many pain meds. So, it’s all right.

On whether his recovery will be different:

Yeah. But I’m definitely going to put just as much effort as coming back as soon as possible. Difficult situation; it’s frustrating. But I’ve got to keep my head together, just like I did before.

On what his teammates told him:

They’ve all really kept me in good spirits. A lot of support from everybody. But they definitely have a lot to worry about with the season going on. So, I just try to not be all bothersome to them. But they all gave me their support.

On being injured and watching his team play:

I mean, it’s tough. Like I said, it’s frustrating. But there’s really nothing I can do about it. It’s kind of like a freak accident. I’ve just got to deal with it.

On whether he knew how badly he was injured when he fell:

When I seen my kneecap broken in half, it was kind of, like, OK. But the crazy thing was, it actually wasn’t that much pain. I actually screamed
because I saw it. I was, like, ‘Oh, shoot. What is that?’

On where he is at mentally:

We just started doing a little bit more rehab stuff. I can put a little bit more weight on my leg now with my crutches. I’m definitely happy about that. My mental state is just like it was. Keep good spirits and know that I’m coming back from this, and it’s going to be better.

On what the team told him might have caused the injury:

It was a freak accident. There was really nothing that could happen. Everybody see there was no contact between me and the guy. I just jumped.

On whether there was a pre-existing injury:

No. I’ve never heard that.

On whether he thought ‘Why me?’:

Uh … no. No, I never thought that. Thoughts of ‘not again.’ But not that. I never doubted myself. Somebody told me — I forgot who told me — but they said, ‘God lets these things happen to people who can come back from them.’ He only does that to people who are strong enough to come back from them. So, that’s definitely one of those things that somebody told me that’s keeping me in good spirits.

On the team believing in him:

I mean, I’m very excited. Definitely knowing that I got the support from my team. Knowing that with everything going on, that they’re still going to be behind me and supporting me, even that it did happen at a tough time.

On who’s going to win the Rose Bowl:

The Ohio State

On coming back:

I feel like I’m going to put as much effort into it as I did the last time. The time before, it was tough. I did everything that I was supposed to do. I mean, I don’t know if you can really learn. You’ve got to do what I can, and that’s what I’m going to do.

On traveling with the team:

I don’t know. That’s something that’s up to the coaches. I’d definitely like to be around the team as much as possible.

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