Blazers’ Roy says he hopes to return this season

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PORTLAND, ORE. (AP) - Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy says he hopes to return this season after having arthroscopic surgery on both knees.

Roy spoke Saturday night before the Blazers‘ game against the Indiana Pacers at the Rose Garden. The three-time All-Star had surgery on Monday, but said he had already done a little shooting on Friday.

Roy said that while he’d like to come back, he’ll try to be patient and follow the advice of team doctors. The Blazers have not set a timetable for his return.

“Now is challenging because I want to start pushing the minute it feels good enough and the doctor is still saying ‘Nah, we have to take it a little bit easier.’ So it’s tough,” he said.

Roy was averaging 16.6 points in 23 games, but his play was curtailed by soreness in both knees, which he says is caused by a lack of cartilage.

Roy was walking without crutches and sat on Portland’s bench for the game. He was greeted with rousing applause when shown on the video scoreboard.

The former NBA Rookie of the Year said he already noticed an improvement.

“There’s a slight difference with somethings that were going on that feel better right after the surgery. It’s just a situation where he was able to go in there and kind of debris both the knees and clean up a little bit of some problems that I was feeling in the right knee,” he said. “We’re optimistic that that worked.”

Last season, Roy had arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee two days before the Blazers opened their first-round playoff series against Phoenix. He made a remarkable comeback and played in the fourth game of the series, which the Suns eventually won. Some have suggested that perhaps Roy returned too soon.

The Blazers have been hit hard by injuries this season.

Center Marcus Camby had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday and will be sidelined at least three weeks. He was averaging 5.9 points and 11.3 rebounds in 39 games this season,

In November, the team announced that center Greg Oden, the No. 1 draft pick in 2007, would miss the season because of microfracture surgery on his left knee. Oden missed his rookie year because of microfracture surgery on his right knee.

Second-year forward Jeff Pendergraph injured his knee in the preseason and required season-ending surgery. And rookie guard Elliot Williams has undergone surgery this season on both knees.

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