Blazers' Aldridge to have hip surgery
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)
The team said Thursday no date has been set for the arthroscopic procedure, which will repair a slight labral tear. Aldridge says he has had pain for about two weeks and is unsure how the injury occurred.
''I'm just happy we know what it is now and we can move forward,'' said Aldridge, who traveled to Vail, Colo., his week for a closer look at the injury after an earlier MRI didn't show it.
Aldridge is averaging 21.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists this season while shooting a career-high 51.2 percent.
The 6-foot-11 power forward in his sixth year called the tear ''minor'' and said he was being proactive in having the procedure. Aldridge had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left hip when he was at Texas in 2005. He said that injury was much more severe.
''LaMarcus' priority is that he's 100-percent healthy going into training camp this fall and we all feel this is the best course,'' Blazers acting general manager Chad Buchanan said in a statement. ''He's had an All-Star year and his long-term health is the most important thing to consider.''
Aldridge is a finalist for the U.S. men's basketball team that will play in the London Olympics. He told reporters on Thursday that he was unsure if he'd be recovered in time to play, and wouldn't rush his rehab.
Aldridge's surgery is the latest blow to the Blazers in what has been a turbulent season. Before it started, Aldridge had to undergo a procedure to treat a heart condition that kept him out of training camp. On the same day that his procedure was announced, All-Star guard Brandon Roy revealed that he was retiring because of problems with both his knees, and the team said that former No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden had suffered a setback in his recovery from knee surgery.
The Blazers struggled in the lockout-shortened season, and the team dismissed popular coach Nate McMillan at the NBA trade deadline. Two starters, Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace, were traded, and Oden was waived on the same day.
Although Portland (28-31) has not been eliminated from the playoffs, they are 4 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The team has seven games remaining.
The Blazers have gone 8-8 since McMillan's firing under interim coach Caleb Canales, who has been juggling his lineups to give younger players a look. Portland was coming off a 118-110 victory over Golden State on Wednesday night.
''I'm very disappointed,'' Aldridge said. ''I feel we have a really good group of guys here. I feel like everybody's getting being. I feel we're starting to find a really good rhythm together. So it's definitely hard to do right now.''