Oden says tonsils will probably keep him out of next month's camp

Updated: July 27, 2007, 9:25 PM ET
Associated Press

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Greg Oden is leaning toward skipping U.S. training camp next month, possibly ending his chances of playing in the 2008 Olympics.

Oden, the No. 1 pick in the draft, had a tonsillectomy July 14 and was forced to miss the Americans' minicamp last weekend in Las Vegas. He has an invitation to join the team when it reconvenes for training camp on Aug. 15, but said Friday he probably wouldn't be there.

"I don't think I am because of my tonsils," Oden told The Associated Press.

Oden was in New York for the rookie photo shoot, where most of next season's incoming class of players donned their uniforms for the first time for their pictures that will be used on Topps and Upper Deck trading cards.

Oden was here last month for the draft and flew that night to Portland to be introduced the next day. He's had multiple trips to New York and Oregon, plus trips to Orlando, Fla. and Las Vegas since his college career ended. He struggled through two games of the Las Vegas summer league before shutting down for the surgery.

"It was a lot of traveling, but just had to do it," Oden said. "I never got worn out traveling until this summer. It was a lot."

Oden said he would soon begin working out back home in Indianapolis, joined by Trail Blazers assistant Bill Bayno.

Oden was invited to practice with the Americans last summer but couldn't play because of his broken wrist. He is unlikely to be a candidate for the roster in Beijing without playing either of the two previous summers.

"Those who have missed two years in a row, the odds are against them," USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said.

USA Basketball hasn't heard from Oden one way or the other, but Colangelo has been kept aware of Oden's situation from Portland coach Nate McMillan, an assistant with the U.S. team.

With Oden and Shane Battier likely out and Nick Collison joining the team next month, the U.S. roster should be at 17 when camp reopens. The roster has to be down to 12 the day before the FIBA Americas tournament starts on Aug. 22.

Kevin Durant is still hoping to be on it.

The Seattle rookie was outstanding in last week's intrasquad game, scoring 16 of his 22 points in the second half. Durant helped the blue team, featuring Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony, rally from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the white.

When Colangelo added Durant to the roster in May, it was thought that was preparation for the future. Durant hopes he won't have to wait.

"Anything can happen. Hopefully I make the team, I want to be a part of a great team, hopefully win a gold medal," Durant said. "I went in with the mind-set that hopefully I could make the '07 team. I know it's going to be hard with all the great NBA players there. I'm just a young rookie. But hopefully I make the team, hopefully I become part of something good." Along with Redick, Colangelo said Boston's Al Jefferson, New York's David Lee, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala and Golden State's Monta Ellis will be part of the training opposition, with a few more names coming next week. Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy was scheduled to be on it, but will be unavailable.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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