June 16, 2006

Greg Oden undergoes wrist surgery Friday

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INDIANAPOLIS -With Ohio State coach Thad Matta in the waiting room for what seemed an eternity, 7-foot prize recruit Greg Oden had surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist.

Oden, Indiana's Mr. Basketball and national prep player of the year last season at three-time state champion Lawrence North, is expected to be out of basketball at least several months, his high school coach, Jack Keefer, said Friday night.

Keefer and Matta waited during the two-hour operation at the Indiana Hand Center.

"It seemed like forever," Keefer said. "The doctor said everything was fine."

Oden hurt his wrist during a game in February but played with the injury through the state tournament and then in two national All-Star games. Another visit to the doctor and a follow-up MRI early this week showed the injury had not healed, forcing him to drop out of the two-game Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series this weekend and next.

"It was a complete tear," Keefer said. "They put a screw in there, a clamp and whatever they do in there, and he (the doctor) felt very good about what took place."

The coach compared the injury to a torn ACL in the knee and said the ligament in the wrist is what gives a player the ability to grip the basketball.

"You've just got to fix it. Fortunately they went in there, because it wasn't a partial tear. It was out," Keefer said.

Matta said Thursday that Oden planned to enroll at Ohio State for summer school on Monday and to begin his rehabilitation in Columbus.

Keefer said no immediate timetable was given for Oden's recovery.

"It's not today or tomorrow, that's for sure," he said. "It's months out. ... They've got such an awfully good way of checking things anymore, so they can see the progress being made.

"I don't know if he'll start the season (with the Buckeyes) or not, but somewhere along the way he'll get in there, I'm sure," Keefer said.

Oden's high school teammate, guard Mike Conley, also is an Ohio State recruit. Both of them were first-team All-State selections by The Associated Press.

For more coverage of the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out BuckeyeSportsBulletin.com.


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