From the horse's mouth (saw him @ Short Hills Mall yesterday and talked to him for a minute) - he's not starting the season.
That damn knee problem that's been nagging him now for 2-3 years. You really can look back and see how it affected his play then. So, no surgery in the off season, the knee gets very painful but subsides quickly after playing.
I was hoping Patty would be100% this season, so he would command some high draft picks or a good trade before the deadline this season. Help the organization out rebuilding/sonic youth.