Blazers' Damian Lillard to Undergo Further Evaluation on Abdominal Injury

Doric SamJanuary 5, 2022

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) brings the ball up court in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is going to miss at least three more games.

The Blazers announced on Wednesday that Lillard will undergo further evaluation and consultation about his lower abdominal tendinopathy. 

Lillard has already been ruled out for Wednesday against the Miami Heat, Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sunday against the Sacramento Kings.

The 31-year-old underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with lower abdominal tendinopathy on Dec. 1. The team said he would be reevaluated in 10 days. The injury has forced him to miss six games already.

Lillard has gotten off to a slow start this season. He is averaging 24.0 points, 7.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds with a career-low 40.2 field-goal percentage through 29 games.

A 10-year veteran out of Weber State, Lillard is a six-time All-Star selection. He was named to the All-NBA first team in 2018 and the All-NBA second team four times, including each of the past three seasons.

Lillard has averaged over 25 points in six consecutive seasons, and for his career, he averages 24.6 points and 6.6 assists in the regular season.

Portland has struggled this season with a record of 14-22. Lillard has been the subject of trade rumors, but he's consistently expressed his desire to remain with the Blazers.

"I’m not asking for a trade, I don’t know how many times I’ve got to say it. ... I been here for 10 years and I’m trying to be a part of the solution," he told Jason Dumas of KRON4 News in San Francisco on Dec. 8:

Jason Dumas @JDumasReports

Dame remains adamant that he doesn't want to be traded from Portland and wants to be the part of the solution and winning. (2/2) <a href="https://t.co/jtzFQoREAA">pic.twitter.com/jtzFQoREAA</a>

Lillard's absence is yet another blow to the Blazers after his backcourt running mate, CJ McCollum, was ruled out indefinitely because of a collapsed lung.

While the two of them are out, veteran wing Norman Powell will have to shoulder the scoring load. He ranks third on the team with 18.4 points per game.

Fourth-year guard Anfernee Simons has demonstrated the ability to get hot at times (he scored a career-high 43 points on Monday to up his average to 12.9 points per game this season), and he will have to be more consistent as he's likely to see some more substantial playing time.