The Portland Trail Blazers picked up their first win of the season on Saturday after beating the Phoenix Suns in convincing fashion, 134-105. Unfortunately, the celebration was dampened a bit by the fact that Norman Powell left due to a knee injury and did not return to the game.
On Monday, the team announced that Powell has been diagnosed with patellar tendinopathy in his left knee. The good news is that he's avoided a serious injury and was well enough to travel with the team to Los Angeles for their upcoming road trip to face the Clippers. The bad news is he is officially out for that game, and it's unclear when he'll be able to play again since the team did not indicate any timeline for his recovery.
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When he spoke to reporters on Monday, Powell said that while his knee is feeling better, he is still experiencing some pain. Patellar tendinopathy, which is also known as jumper's knee, typically resolves with rest and physical therapy, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Last season, Powell dealt with the same injury in his right knee and ended up missing just one game.
How many he misses this time around remains to be seen. Given the nature of the injury -- overuse -- and the fact that it is still so early in the season, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Blazers take the cautious route. Regardless, the big takeaway is that this should be a short-term issue, which is exactly what Powell and the Blazers were hoping to hear.
The Blazers traded for Powell at last season's trade deadline and signed him to a five-year, $90 million deal in the summer because they believe he can be a key part of their team moving forward. Losing him to a major injury just a few games into the season would have been a crucial blow to their hopes of making some noise in the Western Conference.