Brandon Roy out indefinitely

PORTLAND ― Before the Trail Blazers’ season began, there was a grain silo billboard across the street from the Rose Garden displaying larger-than-life pictures of LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden on either side of Brandon Roy.

Lingering above young the trio were the words “Rise with us.”

Now just 33 games into the year, two of those players have fallen.
The Blazers announced Thursday that Roy, 26, would be sidelined indefinitely with sore knees. No timetable was given for his return, but neither Roy nor Blazers coach Nate McMillan ruled out the possibility that he could be done for the season.

The joints, particularly the meniscus-less left knee, have now kept the shooting guard out of the lineup for seven straight games and 10 on the season.

One didn’t need a trained eye to notice Roy’s diminished athleticism in the games he has played this year ― his explosiveness obsolete and his defense often non-existent. But to see his absence finalized, especially when coupled with Oden’s season-ending knee surgery in November, cemented a feeling of opportunities vanished.

“Things were pretty. It’s like a tornado almost. Things are sitting pretty, it’s a sunny day, looking bright and all of a sudden something comes through and ‘boom’,” McMillan said. “All of a sudden you have a lot of moving parts, you’ve got a lot of moving pieces. That’s pretty much how it is.”

Roy, who signed a 5-year, $82 million contract last August, has been hampered by knee problems since the beginning of the season, when he publicly called for fewer minutes to rest his ailing joint. Yet despite missing a three-game stretch in November after limping off the court in New Orleans, and despite constant re-evaluations and delays in his return, Roy has adamantly resisted the idea of shutting it down for the year.

However, seeing how the improvement has been minimal, he agreed sitting out was a necessity after chatting with Blazers general manager, Rich Cho.

As for the solemn look on Roy’s face Thursday? That came as little surprise.

“I don’t know what’s tougher, the knees or the mental side of it,” said Roy, who has the led the Blazers in scoring each of the past three seasons. “Just going through this. It’s tough for me, being young, coming off some really good seasons. Not just expectations that people have, but ones I have for myself. It’s difficult mentally.”

Roy had hoped rest would serve as a solution ― or at least a mollifier ― to the nagging knee. But now he’s resigned to the fact that a new course of action is compulsory if he wants to improve.

Roy wouldn’t delve too deep into his treatment options, just that there are “a number of people working to try to get me back on the court,” that surgery is an option, and that he’s optimistic about resuming a productive career in due time.

“I’m trying to be positive, and I’m looking forward to being back out there with the team,” said Roy, whose team is 6-3 without him this season. “These guys have done a great job since I’ve been out…it’s difficult for me to take away from what we’re trying to do.”

Matt Calkins can be contacted at 360-735-4528 or

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