It would be natural to suggest that the Portland Trail Blazers knew Greg Oden's knee injury was serious and decided to cover it up until now. After all, they haven't provided any sort of timetable on his recovery, which is not normal. However, Trail Blazers trainer Jay Jensen put that conspiracy theory to rest very quickly during a press conference on Wednesday night.
Jensen told reporters that Oden's rehabilitation was progressing normally, until Monday. That's when he began telling the trainers that his knee was swelling. On Tuesday, the knee swelling got worse, and that's when they discovered that there was significant problems.
"We went to L.A. to play the Lakers on Sunday, and Greg had had a workout that was broadcast on TV because our doctor watched him work out before the game on TV. He had a workout, a strong workout, a strenuous workout and when he came off the court there was no talk that he was struggling or that he was having difficulty with his knee. On Monday, I first heard about the discomfort in his knee at Coach Luke's funeral. He mentioned to me that his knee was sore and that he had some swelling or effusion. We looked at it, it wasn't a large amount. The following day, Tuesday, we had our next game. I saw him at shootaround and he had a significant effusion on his knee, one that warranted him to see Dr. Roberts that night at the game."
Oden, Jensen and the doctor were in the room at the same time when they saw the news.
Dr. Roberts pulled up the picture of Greg's knee on the screen and Greg didn't know what he was looking at. But Dr. Roberts did and I knew what to look for too, and there was the defect in his articular surface of his left knee. We sat there and it was like we got kicked in the stomach. We all felt like we had just been told that somebody close to us had died. It felt that way. We didn't know what to say. We were shocked.
The scary thing about Oden's knee injury this time is that the Blazers still don't really know exactly what triggered it. As Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge notes on CBSSports.com, this is the second time Oden has suffered a serious knee injury without the team knowing exactly what incident caused it. When Oden had microfracture surgery in 2007, no reason was given for it. This time, the Blazers sort of knew it happened during that workout in Los Angeles, but they don't know when. All they know is, on Tuesday, an MRI revealed a deficit in Oden's articular cartilage that was "like a nine-iron taking a divot out of the grass."
Either way, the circumstances surrounding Oden's recent injury happened recently, not a long time ago.