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Joel Przybilla aims to be back for opening night

Joel Przybilla was part of the horrific wave of injuries the Blazers faced last year. After he broke his patella, the same injury that felled Greg Oden, he slipped in the shower and re-injured it. Most thought he would be out until at least the beginning of the new year.

But in an interview with Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett (via the Oregonian), Przybilla says he’s making progress and hopes to return by opening night:

“I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I would hope by mid September I’ll start going much harder on the court. They want me to get to the point where I can jump, and land, comfortably. We’re shooting for me being ready to roll on opening night. It’s a realistic goal and it’s all I’m thinking about right now.”

Pretty stunning stuff considering the severity of his injury. The question will be what role Przybilla will be returning to. Greg Oden is still considered the center of the future, though that dream is dying a slow, injury-plagued death, and Marcus Camby is the starter. Przybilla played well for the Blazers and is a quality center, but may not have a place on the rotation to return to.