Roy has slightly torn meniscus; playoff status unknown

PORTLAND — Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will be out until at least the NBA playoffs due to a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee.

Roy’s status will be re-evaluated Friday. But the three time All-Star acknowledged during a press conference Monday that he could miss the first few games of the playoffs, if not more.

Roy will have surgery following the 2009-10 season. He estimated that he will be out 4-6 weeks once the procedure is completed.

Roy said he would immediately have surgery if the Blazers were not preparing for a first-round playoff series against an opponent still to be determined.

“It’s disappointing,” said Roy, prior to the start of Portland’s game against Oklahoma City at the Rose Garden. “I was hoping for better news.”

Roy injured his knee Sunday during the Blazers’ 91-88 road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. He was originally diagnosed with a right knee bone contusion. But a further evaluation of a magnetic resonance imaging-exam revealed the meniscus tear.

The former Washington standout stayed up late Sunday evening thinking about his injury and its playoff implications. Roy said he had a heavy heart, and would have likely started crying were his children not sitting in bed with him.

“I never thought I would miss a playoff game,” Roy said.

Roy’s meniscus tear is the latest setback for a Portland team that has missed 307 games due to injury this season.

Roy first had surgery on his right knee during his junior year at Washington. During the process, part of his meniscus was removed. Roy said Monday that enough of his meniscus remains, though, that he will not have to deal with bone-on-bone issues following surgery this year.

Roy underwent surgery in 2008 on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus.

Heading into this season, Roy had missed 37 games in three years due to injuries. He will have missed 17 contests during the 2009-10 campaign after Portland ends its regular season Wednesday, with a game against Golden State at the Rose Garden.

Roy leads the Blazers in average scoring (21.5 points) and ranks second in minutes (37.2). He signed a five-year maximum contract extension last summer worth about $82 million.

Roy was replaced Monday in the starting lineup by guard Rudy Fernandez, who is averaging 8.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 23.0 minutes in 60 games. The electric sharpshooter has been wildly inconsistent this season, though, and is shooting just 38 percent from the floor.

Roy’s absence will also lead to more minutes for reserve small forward Martell Webster, who scored 16 points and knocked down six key free throws during Portland’s victory over the Lakers.

“It’s another opportunity for a guy to step in,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. “And the team to pull together, and find a way to get it done without a player.”

Portland lost centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla to season-ending injuries this year. Nicolas Batum, Patty Mills, Jeff Pendergraph and ex-Blazer Travis Outlaw have all missed at least 27 games.

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