The Trail Blazers Announced Damian Lillard Will Miss The Rest Of The Season

After undergoing abdominal surgery in January, Damian Lillard has been sidelined for the Portland Trail Blazers’ last 35 games. On Monday afternoon, the team announced in a press release that “Lillard will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season.”

“Lillard has progressed well through the reconditioning phase of his rehab protocol following his January abdominal surgery,” the press release reads. “He has met several key performance benchmarks to date and will continue end-stage rehab over the next few weeks.”

Whether it was a shooting slump or effects of this abdominal injury, Lillard struggled in his 29 games this season — at least compared to the level he’s established for himself. Hopefully, an entire summer to get right sees him return to the All-NBA-caliber stardom of the past half-decade.

In the meantime, Portland will seemingly continue to emphasize youth development with players like Trendon Watford, Greg Brown III and Brandon Williams. Anfernee Simons has, of course, enjoyed a breakout year, yet hasn’t played since March 5, as he’s sidelined with mild patellar tendinopathy in his left knee.

The Blazers have lost 10 of their last 11 games. At 26-44, they’re currently 3.5 games back of the 10th-seeded Los Angeles Lakers for the West’s final play-in spot. They’ll return to the floor Monday in Detroit against the Pistons.