Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy will undergo surgery Friday to repair the partially torn meniscus in his right knee, sidelining him for the first-round series against the Phoenix Suns, according to the team website. Roy suffered the injury in the second quarter of a 91-88 victory over the Lakers on Sunday.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” Roy said in a statement. “But, if I’m going to be out there, I want to be contributing. If we’re fortunate enough to advance in the playoffs, having the surgery now gives me the best opportunity to help our team.”
Roy averaged 21.5 points, 4.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game in 65 games this season. The 6-foot-6 guard out of the University of Washington was even more productive against Phoenix, posting 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games.
In fact, Roy’s success against Phoenix dates back to last season. In four games against the Suns last year he averaged a ridiculous 31.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game, including a 52-point outburst in a win over the Suns on Dec. 18, 2008.
“This is a setback, but we’ve been overcoming injuries all season long,” said Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard. “This is about looking long term and doing what’s best for Brandon.”
This obviously changes the entire complexion of the series. Roy is clearly Portland’s go-to guy and franchise player, and without him the Trail Blazers’ already mediocre offense becomes that much worse. Portland is 8-9 on the season without its do-it-all guard, but was able to capture wins against Phoenix, Orlando, Dallas, San Antonio and Oklahoma City in his absence.
Portland has dealt with injuries all season long, most notably the loss of former No. 1 pick Greg Oden, but Roy is irreplaceable. He is the face of Nate McMillan’s system and without him, it is hard to believe the Trail Blazers can keep up with Phoenix’s uber-efficient offense in a seven-game series.