June 30, 2011 / 6:40 AM / 9 years ago

Blazers stand by injury-prone Oden

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - The Portland Trail Blazers have shown faith in their injury-prone center Greg Oden, offering the seven-footer an offer to stay on their roster.

The Trail Blazers extended a one-year $8.8 million qualifying offer, making Oden a restricted free agent and allowing the team to match any offer from other teams.

Portland selected Oden with the first overall pick of the 2007 draft, but injuries have derailed his career.

Knee surgeries shelved Oden for his entire rookie season and all of last season. The 23-year-old has managed to play a total of just 82 games in four years with career averages of 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.

“We’ve stood behind Greg Oden every day since he became a Trail Blazer and that continues with today’s announcement,” Portland president Larry Miller said on the team’s website (nba.com/blazers).

“Despite the setbacks he’s experienced, he continues to be resilient in working tirelessly on his rehabilitation. We’re all very encouraged with not only his progress, but with his commitment and determination to return to the basketball court.”

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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