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#pounditWednesday, December 7, 2022

Blazers get bad news on Damian Lillard’s health

Damian Lillard

It had already been raining for the Portland Trail Blazers, and now it is officially pouring.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on Wednesday that Blazers star Damian Lillard is planning to have surgery in the near future to address his lingering abdominal injury. Windhorst adds that the procedure is not expected to be season-ending but that the situation is still to be determined.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, who is well-connected with Lillard’s camp, adds that Lillard will be re-evaluated in six-to-eight weeks after the surgery.

The six-time All-Star Lillard had been laboring through the injury all season. He was averaging an uncharacteristically low 24.0 points per game on 40.2 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from deep, the worst shooting splits of his career. As Wednesday’s news broke, Lillard was in the middle of his second separate multi-game absence this year due to the abdominal issue.

Some may question why Lillard and the Blazers waited this long for surgery. After all, there were plenty of signs that Lillard’s injury had been lingering for some time now. Furthermore, Portland is now 16-24 on the year and is in danger of falling out of play-in tournament territory. Despite the reports seemingly leaving open the possibility of Lillard returning this year, it is hard to see the incentive for him to do so if the Blazers continue to lose.

Photo: Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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