Oden still out

PORTLAND — Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden will sit out of today's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of a bone chip in his left knee.

Oden was hurt in a collision during a game at Golden State before the All-Star break. The 7-footer missed the rookie challenge and five games since.

Although he accompanied the team on its road swing this week, he did not play in losses to the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs. The road trip ends today at Minnesota, before the Blazers host the Spurs on Sunday.

Oden worked out with the Blazers on Thursday and did some light running, the team said.

Coach Nate McMillan said earlier this week that he wanted to see Oden run before deciding when he could play again.

"We thought, everybody thought, he would be able to be moving by now," McMillan said. "Things just keep getting bumped back."

McMillan said team doctors have assured him that the injury won't turn into a long-term absence.

"We are into the part of the season where we need our bigs," McMillan said.

Oden, the top pick in the 2007 draft, sat out last season after microfracture surgery on his right knee. He missed six games early this season with a foot injury.

Oden has averaged nine points and just over seven rebounds in 39 games this season. Joel Przybilla has been starting in his place.


STREAK ENDS: Rudy Fernandez had 33 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, setting a rookie record.

The streak, which ran from Dec. 7 to Feb 22, ended when he did not hit a 3 in the Blazers' loss at Houston on Tuesday night.

He also set a rookie record by hitting at least one 3-pointer in his first 20 NBA games. Fernandez has made a three in 54 of the 56 games he's appeared in this season.


BAYNO RETURNS: Bill Bayno, who left the Trail Blazers last year to become head coach at Loyola Marymount, has returned to the team.

Bayno coached the Lions for three regular season games before taking leave because of medical reasons. He resigned in January.

Bayno, who was head coach at UNLV from 1995-2000, returned to the Blazers as a developmental coach.


WEBSTER UPDATE: There were varying reports as to the status of Trail Blazer forward Martell Webster, who hasn't played except for a brief appearance in one game this season because of a foot injury.

The Oregonian reported that Webster would likely miss the rest of the regular season, citing team trainer Jay Jensen. But General Manager Kevin Pritchard told the Vancouver Columbian that it was too soon to tell.

Webster fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot during the preseason and had surgery. He returned briefly in one game before reinjuring his foot.

The formal word from the Blazers is that there is no set timetable for his return.

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