Breaking News: Joel Przybilla Ruptures Right Patella Tendon & Dislocates Patella; Out Indefinitely

The Latest:

Joel Przybilla suffered a ruptured right patella tendon and patella dislocation... He is out indefinitely.

Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett stated on tonight's broadcast that Przybilla's injury is "more significant" and "more serious" than Greg Oden's season-ending knee injury.  Barrett implied Przybilla is done for the season.

Update (9:45PM): Joe Freeman of The Oregonian has the locker room reaction in his game recap here

"I knew it was pretty severe when it happened," Przybilla said. "My leg was stuck in a funny position. It really didn't hurt, but I could tell something wasn't right."

Original Post (6:03PM):

With 3:12 left in the first quarter of the Portland Trail Blazers game against the Dallas Mavericks, Blazers center Joel Przybilla went down with a right knee injury.  Przybilla fell to the floor while contesting a rebound with Mavericks center Erick Dampier and clutched his knee, banging his hands on the court in apparent frustration.  

Blazers medical staff, including trainer Jay Jensen, rushed on to the court and covered Przybilla's knee with a towel.  Blazers Head Coach Nate McMillan and President Larry Miller were both shown on the Comcast Sports Northwest broadcast looking concerned.

Przybilla was carried off the court by teammates Jeff Pendergraph and Anthony Tolliver and did not put any pressure on his right knee.

Przybilla had stepped into the starting lineup after a recent knee injury to Greg Oden.  Through 29 games, Przybilla was averaging 4.2 points, 8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 23.2 minutes per game.

Przybilla joins a long list of Blazers who have suffered injuries this season: Patty Mills (foot), Jeff Pendergraph (hip), Nicolas Batum (shoulder), Travis Outlaw (foot), Rudy Fernandez (back) and Greg Oden (knee).  Blazers coaches Nate McMillan and Maurice Lucas have also missed time this season.  Blazers Owner Paul Allen was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. 

The extent of Przybilla's injury is not known at this time. This post will update as more information becomes available.

Update (6:32PM):

Video of the injury can be viewed here. Caution: this is graphic.

Update (6:42PM):

For those asking, Przybilla is signed with the Blazers for this season and next.  His salary this year is $6.8 million.  His salary for next season is slated to be $7.4 million.  Przybilla's contract includes a player option for next season, meaning he could choose to become a free agent this summer. Information courtesy of StorytellersContracts.com.

Update (7:01PM):

Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett with the latest: "[Joel Przybilla] is back being checked. MRI, x-ray, that kind of stuff."

Update (7:07PM):

This just in from the Blazers via text message...

Joel Przybilla suffered a ruptured right patella tendon and patella dislocation... He is out indefinitely.

Update (7:14PM):

Be sure to check out this recent post from Norsktroll outlining patella injuries throughout NBA history.

Update (7:18PM):

Blazers Broadcaster Mike Barrett stated on tonight's broadcast that Przybilla's injury is more serious than Oden's, which was season-ending.  Barrett also implies Przybilla's injury is season-ending. 

This one is more significant than Oden's simply because there is a tendon involved. [Oden's] was simply a fractured patella and there was no tendon damage. They just put screws in his patella -- his kneecap.  When there is a tendon involved like this case with Przybilla... that's more serious.  And no timetable has been given. But I think we all know what that means.

Update (7:42PM):

Przybilla's injury forced power forward Jeff Pendergraph, who hadn't played yet this season due to a hip injury suffered this past summer, into his first game action.  Pendergraph had been expected back no sooner than Christmas.

The Blazers roster currently does not include a healthy center.  Power forwards Pendergraph, Juwan Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge will fill this void in the short term.  

Given that Przybilla is the fifth rotation player expected to miss significant portions of the season (joining Nicolas Batum, Travis Outlaw, Greg Oden and Rudy Fernandez), the Blazers could potentially apply for another hardship exception to temporarily fill out their roster, which currently stands at 10 healthy players, including Pendergraph.   

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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