Trail Blazers to decide on plan for Damian Lillard after abdominal injury continues to linger
Damian Lillard’s abdominal injury isn’t getting any better — and the Portland Trail Blazers are getting ready to make a decision.
Lillard will miss the next three games, the team announced Wednesday, with his recurring abdominal injury, something that has kept him out of eight games this season and has been bothering him since playing in the Olympics.
Though Portland coach Chauncey Billups said Tuesday that the Trail Blazers don’t have a timetable for Lillard’s return, he said they’ll figure out how best to deal with the injury, whether via an extended absence or surgery.
“I think what we’re gonna do is just kind of meet, put all our heads together here soon and then talk through some of those things,” Billups said, via The Oregonian. “I think that’s probably gonna be the route that we go if he doesn’t get some kind of relief there. Because I can only imagine how frustrated he is. We all know that this dude wants to play every game and play every minute of every game.”
The Blazers said Lillard "will undergo further evaluation and consultation" and "he will be reevaluated next week."
Lillard has averaged 24 points per contest in 29 games this season, his lowest output since the 2014-15 campaign. He’s also shooting a career-low 40% from the field and 32.4% from the 3-point line.
Lillard missed his first game of the season in November, and then missed five straight in early December before he received a cortisone injection to help with the pain. Lillard returned for Portland’s next nine games before missing Monday’s 136-131 win against the Atlanta Hawks.
Without him, the Trail Blazers are 2-7. They’ve also lost 14 of their last 18 games and four of their last five headed into Wednesday night.