The Portland Trail Blazers have gotten off to an 11-11 start, placing them 10th in a crowded Western Conference through a quarter of the season.
Damian Lillard’s shooting struggles to open the season have been one of the reasons for the Blazers’ up-and-down start, as the All-NBA guard is shooting just 39.7 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from three-point range through 20 games. Lillard has been battling an abdominal injury that he says has been something he’s dealt with for some time, but it has finally gotten to the point that the star will have to take some time away from the court to try and get healthy.
The Blazers announced on Wednesday that an MRI revealed Lillard is dealing with lower abdominal tendinopathy and will be out for at least 10 days for recovery. After 10 days, Lillard will be re-evaluated, so there is the potential that his absence will continue beyond the next week and a half. That is obviously a significant hurdle for the Blazers to clear as they look to keep pace in the West, as they’re only a half game out of a tie for fourth in the conference, but falling behind the cluster from 4-9 in the West would create a difficult hill to climb later.
The 10-day window would mean Lillard will miss games with the Spurs, Celtics, Clippers, and Warriors, with the earliest possible return being Sunday, Dec. 12 against the Timberwolves at home.