Damian Lillard Won't Play for Blazers vs. Nuggets Because of Abdominal Injury

Adam WellsNovember 13, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
AP Photo/Matt York

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will miss at least one game because of an abdominal injury. 

Per The Athletic's Jason Quick, the Blazers announced Lillard won't play Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. 

Lillard had a busy summer between leading the Blazers into the postseason and playing for Team USA at the Olympics. 

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Lillard played through the Summer Games with an abdomen injury that would require additional testing when he returned home. 

It's possible that Lillard's busy 2020-21 season is impacting his performance so far this season. He's only averaging 20.0 points per game on 38.0 percent shooting. His 8.1 assists per game are on pace to be a career high. 

The Blazers are in a crucial season with their current roster. Lillard expressed his frustration about where they were at following a first-round playoff loss to the Nuggets. There has been trade speculation involving the six-time All-Star, but he remains with the organization.

Portland is going to go as far as Lillard can take the franchise. The 31-year-old led the team in scoring (28.8 points per game) and assists (7.5) in 67 starts last season. 

Until the Blazers get their point guard back, head coach Chauncey Billups will likely move Anfernee Simons into the starting lineup.