The Trail Blazers are involved in ongoing discussions aimed at determining how much longer Brandon Roy will have to rest his ailing knees. Among several options under consideration is shutting Roy down for the rest of the season in hopes he can restored to his previous All-Star status, two people with knowledge of the team's thinking told CBSSports.com.
UPDATE: The Blazers are in limbo, both with their .500 record and their posture in trade discussions, until they reach some definitive conclusions on how serious and long-term Roy's knee woes really are. Roy, who has missed the past seven games while being re-evaluated on a daily basis, was put on what the team described as "indefinite rest" Thursday.
“Unfortunately, Brandon Roy’s condition has not significantly improved and we’ve decided to hold him out indefinitely,” GM Rich Cho said in a statement. “In the short term, we’re going to proceed with an extended period of rest. Beyond that, we’re looking at all available treatment options to help better determine a course of action.”
As for how long Roy could be out, a person with knowledge of the team's decision-making process said, "There are multiple options here. At the end of the day, it's got to be a decision the player is comfortable with." Roy said Thursday that surgery was under consideration and confirmed that sitting out the rest of the season was a possibility.
Roy, along with his agent, Bob Myers, and the Portland medical staff, had been weighing the merits of a game-to-game decision-making process on when Roy will be able to play. But there is consensus among some of Portland’s decision-makers and Roy’s camp that having him bounce in and out of the lineup indefinitely may not be in anyone’s best interests. Uncertainty surrounding his status would hinder coach Nate McMillan's ability to prepare for games and also become a distraction to teammates.
Putting Roy on a minute-limit seems unlikely, since he tried that after missing three games in November and decided it wasn't helping. Another course of action would be extending Roy's rest indefinitely, in the hopes that his knees would respond. But also on the table is shutting him down at some point through the remainder of the season, sources said. Along with the latest season-ending injury to 2007 first-round pick Greg Oden, such a move would be another blow to a franchise that felt it was on the cusp of championship contention.
"It would not surprise me to see him try to play again," one of the sources familiar with the team's strategy said. "It would not surprise me to see him set a date when he wants to try to play. And it would not surprise me if he doesn't play again this season. ... At this point, anything is a possibility. The doctors and Brandon are ultimately going to make that decision."
Trading Roy, who signed a five-year, $82 million extension in August 2009, won't be an option until potential suitors gain some clarity about whether Roy will ever return to his previous form. Sources have told CBSSports.com that Roy has a separate, outside insurance policy on his knees that could protect the Blazers -- or his new team -- depending on the timing and extent of any disability.
After he repeatedly had his knees drained early in the season, Roy revealed in November that there is no meniscus left in either knee. The bone-on-bone condition is something Roy, 26, said he would have to "deal with for the rest of my career."