Pritchard says Roy will miss at least a week; addresses trade rumors

The time and distance separating Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy from returning to the basketball court has become a little longer.

Roy received an infusion of platelet-rich plasma Friday in the attempt to help heal his strained right hamstring, Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said.

The use of PRP is a relatively new medical procedure that injects a patient’s blood directly into an injured area. This infusion is intended to serve as a catalyst for healing while shortening rehabilitation time.

Athletes such as Tiger Woods and Hines Ward have received PRP, but opinion is divided about the medical benefits of the procedure.

The initial process takes seven days to run its course, Pritchard said. Roy will then be re-evaluated late next week, and the team will determine when the two-time All-Star is able to return the court.

However, Roy will at least miss seven days (five games) and could miss more time, depending on how his body responds to the infusion.

Based off the timeline provided by Pritchard, the earliest Roy could return to action is a Jan. 30 road contest against Dallas.

“We’ll give him a week off and see how everything goes,” Pritchard said.

Roy is averaging team highs in points (23.1) and assists (5.0). He has started 40 games for the Blazers (26-17), while missing three.

The former Washington standout returned to Seattle on Thursday to receive a second opinion about his hamstring, which he aggravated during the second quarter of Portland’s 98-90 road victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Pritchard addressed a recent report that he and other Blazer executives are using the team’s current road trip as a scouting exercise in which they will report back to owner Paul Allen before making a final decision about a possible trade for a center.

Pritchard advised: “Don’t read too much into that.”

“Paul and I talk or e-mail just about every day,” Pritchard said. “I always report back to him.”

Portland’s GM acknowledged that Roy’s injury could hinder the Blazers’ ability to make a trade, though, since it removes a key player from the team’s backcourt. That area was previously Portland’s deepest in terms of available players, and provided leverage when moving around possible trade pieces.

Pritchard stated that he is always evaluating talent, and never stops looking for ways to help the team. But whether the Blazers will trade for a center before the Feb. 18 deadline remains unclear.

Pritchard said time remains to pull the trigger. But he is balancing the team’s long-term needs with short-term goals, and added that he is “happy with where we’re at.”

In addition, Pritchard praised the play of forwards Juwan Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendergraph — all of whom have filled in at the center position after Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla were lost for the season due to knee injuries.

“Nothing’s changed. … I’m always talking,” Pritchard said. “And we ultimately want to compete at the highest level.”

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