Oden discusses rehab, return, playoffs

TUALATIN, Ore. — Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden said Thursday he expects to be ready to participate in the Blazers’ 2010-11 training camp.

Oden, who is recovering from his second major surgery in three years, added that there is no timetable for his return, though.

But the No. 1 overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft said his rehabilitation is on schedule. He suffered a season-ending injury when he fractured his left patella Dec. 5 against Houston.

“A good day is when I can walk and not have no swelling,” said Oden, following a morning shootaround at the team’s practice facility. “A bad day is when I have a little bit of swelling and I ice my knee. I’ve been using my bone stimulator a lot. Just doing little things to help.”

Oden has recently spent time with his family in Indiana. Oden said the Blazers gave him permission to leave the team to take a break from basketball and “clear his head.”

Oden expects to ramp up his rehab this summer.

“My agent and myself, we’re all looking at different things that I can do,” Oden said. “Because it’s about time for me to figure out what the heck’s going on with my body and get this all taken care of.”

Thursday marked Oden’s first official appearance with the team since March 5, when he said he hoped to return for the playoffs.

“There’s not really anything I can say,” Oden said. “I was definitely trying to stay positive and look at the best of what happened to me. But just being real, it wasn’t going to be ready for the playoffs.”

Oden said he will attend Game 6 tonight against Phoenix at the Rose Garden. The Blazers face a 3-2 deficit in a Western Conference best-of-seven first-round series.

“We’ve got our back against the wall, but they’re ready,” Oden said.

Oden played in 21 games this season, averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks while shooting 60.5 percent from the field.

The 22-year-old former Ohio State standout was playing the best basketball of his career prior to his injury.

Video of Oden speaking with the media Thursday.

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