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Oden to have tonsils removed later this week

Portland-area hospitals may wish to stock up on ice cream for the arrival of a very big patient.

The Portland Trail Blazers will shut down rookie center Greg Oden's summer league season after two games so he can have his tonsils removed, the team said Tuesday.

The Oregonian of Portland first reported the team has decided Oden's swollen tonsils need to come out in the next three-to-four days because they are obstructing his breathing, which in turn is limiting his stamina.

Oden was scheduled to travel to Los Angeles for the taping of
the ESPY awards and then will undergo surgery on Saturday at the Vancouver Clinic in nearby
Vancouver, Wash., the team said on Tuesday.

His recovery is expected to take about two to three weeks.

"Greg felt that this was the right decision to make in the
interests of his health, and we support that decision 100
percent," Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said.
"The sooner he gets the procedure done, the sooner he can get back
on the court at full strength."

Oden will also miss the U.S. Senior National Team's camp July
20-22 in Las Vegas. He is invited to train with the Americans
in August before the FIBA Americas tournament if he has recovered.

That would give him extra time with Portland coach Nate
McMillan, who is an assistant under U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"This is very unfortunate and we wish Greg a speedy and full recovery," said USA basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo. "Provided he is fully recovered, we have invited Greg to participate in the USA Senior National Team's training camp that starts August 13."

Oden, a 7-foot center who played one season at Ohio State, was
the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

In his summer league debut, Oden scored six points and had two
rebounds before leaving with 10 fouls, the maximum allowed in the
summer league. The Blazers lost 74-66 to the Boston Celtics.

In his second game against Dallas, a fatigued Oden finished with
13 points, five rebounds and nine fouls. The Mavericks won 72-68.

"Right now, it's more of a thing that they are so big, that when I'm running up and down the court, it's hard for me to breathe," Oden said Monday after scrimmages with the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers, The Oregonian reported. "I can't get any air in there."

While Oden has struggled he did not use his tonsils -- which Pritchard said are the size of golf balls -- as a crutch for his performance.

"There's no excuses, because I was out there playing," Oden said, according to The Oregonian. "And if I'm playing, I'm playing, so if I have a bad game, it's not on my tonsils, it's on me. A lot of it is I just have to get used to this game, that's what everyone is telling me."

Oden will miss Sunday's matchup with Seattle that would have
pitted him against No. 2 pick Kevin Durant.


"They'll make more money during the regular season," Oden
jokingly said earlier this week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.