PORTLAND, Ore., March 18 (UPI) -- The Portland Trail Blazers may have to play the rest of the regular season without point guard Scottie Pippen, who had arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday.
Pippen underwent the procedure on his ailing left knee at Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash.
The 6-7 Pippen missed the last four games with swelling in the knee. He is expected to be out a minimum of three weeks. The season ends April 16, and the playoffs start three days later.
Portland is fourth in the Western Conference with a 43-24 record. Much of their success is due to Pippen, who was shifted by Coach Maurice Cheeks from forward to point guard when the team was struggling early in the season.
As the initiator of the offense, Pippen is averaging 11 points, 4.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 62 games this season, his 16th in the NBA and fourth with the Trail Blazers.
Pippen, 37, is in the final year of a five-year, $67 million contract. One of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, he won six championships alongside Michael Jordan during his days with the Chicago Bulls.