OKLAHOMA CITY -- It would be easy to exhale today knowing that a noted Los Angeles doctor on Friday declared there is no need to operate on the aching left knee of Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy.
And it would be easy to rejoice that Roy is back to his old, game-impacting self after he led the Blazers with 24 points in Friday's thrilling, hard-fought 110-108 loss at Oklahoma City.
Come to think of it, go ahead and do both while you can.
Because, before anyone gets too carried away with the second opinion of Dr. Neal ElAttrache, take a deep breath, swallow hard and realize the reason no surgery was recommended:
There's no meniscus left to operate on in Roy's left knee.
"Nah. None. Not in my right, either," Roy said Friday.
The reason Roy's knee has been swelling up regularly, to the point where it has already been drained twice by Blazers' doctor Don Roberts this season, is because there is no cartilage to absorb the pounding[..]ociated with running and jumping.
"The problem is bone-on-bone there," Roy said. "Dr. Roberts calls it 'arthritic knee.' It's just something I'm going to have to deal with for the rest of my career."
"In talking to (Dr. ElAttrache), I asked if it could get any worse," Roy said. "He said there's a chance, but he doesn't think so. But there's no curing it. He said there are players who have worked with it. You just have to take the medication and monitor it."
In the meantime, it's likely we have seen the end of the old Brandon Roy. The one who switched hands in mid-air while making a driving layin in traffic against Toronto two seasons ago. The one who attacked the lane and finished a game-winner against the Knicks. The one who lept high and blocked a Carmelo Anthony jumper with his finger tip to preserve a victory.
There will be a lot more jumpers. A lot more post-ups. There will still be drives -- he beat his man a couple times in the fourth quarter on Friday -- but they will be more calculated and measured.
For the past week, that has been a hard thing for Roy to swallow. But after talking with family and friends, he came to realize it was a reality.
On Friday, with his mind no longer thinking about microfracture, and the swelling in his knee subsided enough to give him some freedom on the court, he started to embrace his new career.
"I could see myself coming in the fold now," Roy said.
Sucks, dude was real talented too. I remember reading not to long ago Kobe said in a interview that Roy was the hardest guard to cover in the league.