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Batum Shoulder Surgery

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Blazersedge learned this morning, and the Blazers confirmed shortly before noon, that Portland Trail Blazers starting small forward Nic Batum will undergo shoulder surgery on a torn right labrum later this week.  

Batum injured his shoulder last season and again this summer while playing for the French national team.  He injured it again earlier during training camp, which nearly caused him to miss Fan Fest.  Batum injured it yet again during yesterday's practice, according to this report from Joe Freeman. At practice today, Batum stated that he knew surgery was likely for months and that he had hoped to play through the pain.

The team stated Batum's recovery timeline will be determined after surgery however a source close to Batum expects him to miss a substantial portion of the 2009-2010 NBA season. 

Nate McMillan said that Martell Webster practiced with the starting unit today. He also was quite clear in stating that cohesion with the fellow starters, rather than any particular match-up against an opponent, would determine whether Webster or Travis Outlaw fills the starting 3 role.  Nate pointed to defending elite perimter players, knocking down the open shot and general fit with Blake, Roy, Aldridge and Oden as his criteria for determining his starters.  All signs, at least initially, would point to Webster.

Batum was in the gym today in sweats but did not practice. His mood was relatively upbeat for the cameras but he was clearly disappointed.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

Update (2PM)Further details from Joe Freeman.

Batum said he has been told that the recovery time for his surgery will be three to five months. That means the best case scenario for his return is early February.

....

But Batum said the pain had gradually become too much to play through over the last two weeks. He routinely aggravated the injury during games and practices, when he would run into screens or have his arm tugged by a defender. He dinged the shoulder in the first quarter of the Blazers' last exhibition game against the Suns on Thursday and the pain had become too much.