The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Thursday that All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge will undergo season-ending surgery on his right hip. Aldridge said following the team's Thursday practice that he expects to miss 2-4 months with what he calls a "very slight labral tear." He said that he could still possibly play for USA Basketball during the 2012 Olympics but that he wouldn't push it. He says he will be ready to go by training camp for the 2012-2013 season.
The news was not unexpected. Earlier this week, Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan said surgery was a possibility.
Here's a partial question and answer transcript from Aldridge's Thursday comments. The press release announcing the surgery is below.
Why surgery instead of rest?
"[Rest] is an option if I didn't want to have surgery but the organization, myself and my family all feel like this is something we don't want to linger on. this is something we want to fix now and move past it."
Does this rule you out for Team USA and the 2012 Summer Olympics?
"It doesn't all the way. My recovery time is 2-4 months. This is a very minor tear. I could easily be back in time but I'm not going to push it."
When will you have the surgery?
"Soon. As soon as possible. I have to talk to my family and see what's good with my mom to fly out there and check with the doctor's schedule."
Is this going to be a long-term problem?
"No, no, no. If I had any worries about it, I think this would be worse. Talking to the doctor over and over again, this is very precautionary and very smart to do right now because it's a very small tear right now. If you play on it and wait, it could become something major."
How was the pain recently?
"It was pretty bad, just walking, just running. Things like that really got to me. During games, late in games, I would feel it more."
How long have you felt the pain?
"To this level, the last two or two and a half weeks. I've been complaining about it. I'm feeling it. It's just been going on so long we just wanted to look into it more."
Is this related to a previous injury or your 2011 MRI?
"We can't say. We looked at the MRI and everything looked OK. I think things like this, they can show up one day and then not the other. We can't say that."
Was the injury influenced by the lockout or a lack of training camp and preseason?
"I came in in shape so I don't feel like that had anything to do with it. Our season, I played a lot of minutes, my sixth year in the league, it's just everything all together probably. Just one of those things that happens. Very disappointed. I feel like we have a really good group of guys. I feel like everybody is getting better. I feel like we're getting a rhythm together. It's definitely hard to do right now."
Did the lockout schedule play a role?
"We can't say because these type of things can happy walking down the street, getting off your couch. I really can't say. I think those things probably exposed it more because I didn't have as much rest. I didn't have that much time to recover. So maybe so."
So you haven't ruled out the Olympics?
"I haven't. The tear is very minor. It's enough to give me pain and discomfort but it's not anything overly major. He feels like he can fix it easily. July, I have time but I'm not going to rush it. I know my main goal is to be ready for next season. I'm not going to push it for that. I definitely want to play with those guys but I want to be healthy here."
Here's the team's press release.
Portland Trail Blazers forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right hip to repair a labral tear and will miss the remainder of the season, it was announced today by the team.
"In his most recent MRI, and following further evaluation, it's been determined that LaMarcus has a slight labral tear and will require arthroscopic surgery," said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. "LaMarcus' priority is that he's 100-percent healthy going into training camp this fall and we all feel this is the best course. He's had an All-Star year and his long-term health is the most important thing to consider."
Dr. Marc Phillipon will perform the surgery at a date to be determined.
A first-time NBA All-Star this year, Aldridge averaged a team-high 21.7 points to go with 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.93 steals, 0.82 blocks and 36.3 minutes in 55 games (all starts). He shot 51.2 percent from the field and 81.4 percent from the foul line, both career highs.
Aldridge currently ranks eighth among league leaders in scoring, 14th in field goal shooting and 25th in rebounding. He is the only NBA player averaging at least 21 points and eight rebounds while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor.
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