Portland Trailblazers

  • Head Athletic Trainer: Geoff Clark (1st Year as Head AT)
  • Total Games Missed Due to Injury Over the Last 5 Years:  1023 (29th)
  • Total Cost for Games Missed Due to Injury Over the Last 5 Years: $63,160,566 (24th)
  • 2012-13 Games Missed Due to Injury: 190 (24th)
  • 2012-13 Cost of Games Missed Due to Injury: $6,481,802 (8th)
  • Average 5-Year Rank in Games Missed: 30th
  • Average 5-Year Rank in Cost of Injuries: 24th
  • Best Finish in Games Missed Ranks: 21 (2010-11)
  • Worst Finish in Games Missed Ranks: 29 (2009-10)

Summary

Portland is a franchise that has become infamous with injury. The last five seasons have been particularly bad as players once considered as franchise cornerstones have seen their careers derailed by chronic ailments, particularly knee issues. The team has finished above the league average for games missed due to injury in each of the last five seasons. In that timeframe a Trailblazer has missed at least half the seasons nine times, including three times in which a player has sat for the entire season.

Greg Oden and Brandon Roy sit at the center of their problem, combining to miss 261 games or 25 percent of the team’s total over the last five years. Oden missed time recovering from a broken left kneecap, two microfracture procedures on his left knee, and an additional debridement on his right knee. Roy battled hamstring issues before chronic cartilage issues in both knees forced an early retirement. Once considered the future of Portland, Roy and Oden were a part of just three playoffs appearances and never advanced past the first round.

2012-13 was a bit of an upswing for Portland. The team missed 190 games but it only cost them $6,481,802, their lowest total in five seasons. 82 of those 190 missed games belonged to Elliot Williams who suffered a torn Achilles in the offseason. Still the performance wasn’t strong enough to save head athletic trainer Jay Jensen’s job. After 19 seasons with the organization he was let go in early May. Jensen had become a polarizing figure earning the trust and respect of certain players while being criticized by others. He grew heat for reportedly mismanaging information provided by a kinesiologist regarding Oden’s biomechanics though Oden has never openly blamed Jensen or the rest of the Portland staff.

Jensen was replaced by longtime assistant Geoff Clark and the organization hired Dr. Chris Stackpole as Director of Player Health and Performance. Stackpole will lead the transformation of the medical staff, bringing a new emphasis on nutrition, preventative maintenance, and critical care. The first test of Stackpole’s ingenuity has already begun as rookie CJ McCollum suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal during training camp. After undergoing surgery eight months ago for a similar injury, the team opted to send McCollum to Dr. Robert Anderson for a non-operative ultrasound procedure. Time will tell if the procedure worked properly but it appears the new staff is already making its presence felt.

Portland Games Missed

Portland Cost of Games Missed