The news seems to have hit everyone pretty bad, but I'm here to remind you: this ain't your older brother's league anymore. Microfracture, while rightfully feared, is not (or should not be) a dirty word anymore.
This is not some freak accident like Bowie. The Tribune ran a "where is he now?" piece on Bowie a while back, and the injury was an incredibly rare type of fracture, the kind you only ususally see male Russian ballet dancers get (someone should have checked Sam's contract for "a love of the dance" clause. I keed, I keed!). At any given time, if I remember this stat from the article correctly, the number of known injuries of that type in the world numbered in the single digits. Microfracture is not so rare.
Like I said before on a comment in the Oden's Out thread on the main page, microfracture is the new Tommy John. It's the sound of a career being saved. Some point to Kenyon Martin, but he has had two, and he technically isn't done yet.
Some more perspective, via Truehoop.com, at Supersonics.com (it's a list of players who have had microfracture surgery, and there subsequent statistics). There's two dozen players besides Greg Oden on that list. The ones that came back seem to be younger, talented, and hard, HARD, workers. The ones that didn't were either old (i.e., Karl Malone) or on the downslide as it was (Terrell Brandon). There are some surprises, as the surgery is new enough to not have early forms of it referred to as microfracture (i.e., John Stockton and Brian Grant).
In summary, while nothing is guaranteed, and no one knows with %100 certainty what will happen, this is not the end Greg Oden. Not by a long shot. He may lose a couple years at the beginning and end of his career, but he can come back. He is facing a tough rehab, but one that is a lot more common these days than a even a few years ago.
Think about this as well: the outcry seems more proportionate to the talent than the injury (make no mistake about the severity of the injury; I am NOT trying to downplay microfracture, just provide some perspective). How many were this despondent over Zach or Darius? Both were deemed key pieces at the time, and unless I'm mistaken, the doom and gloom wasn't as prevalent. Take the name Greg Oden out of the equation, look at the procedure, the level of seriousness, and ask yourself, if this were Channing Frye's or Josh McRoberts knee, would you be as pessimistic?
Oh, and watch Amare Stoudemire this year.
Chin up, Blazers Edge.