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Despite optimism about Damian Lillard’s calf injury, an MRI revealed issues that could sideline the Portland Trail Blazers’ star for additional games
The Portland Trail Blazers have gotten off to a strong, and perhaps surprising, start to the season. At 10-6, they’re sitting in third place in the uber-competitive Western Conference.
This early success has been in large part due to the play of star guard Damian Lillard. Having played in 11 of the 16 games, Lillard is averaging 26.3 points per game in a little over 35 minutes per game. Add in 7.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game, and it’s shaping up to be his best season.
During Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz, Lillard left the game early with a calf strain, which initially prompted speculation that he would be missing at least a game or two. Despite the initial prognosis, the team was hopeful that he’d be back in uniform soon to continue this impressive start to the season.
Trail Blazers receive negative news on Damian Lillard’s calf injury
Unfortunately, the Trail Blazers received negative news from Damian Lillard’s MRI, which found additional damage to the right calf.
At first, the team thought this injury was related to the calf strain that kept Lillard off the court earlier in the season. But the MRI revealed that this more recent injury is separate.
The team will continue to watch Lillard and evaluate when best to bring him back to action.
So far this season, the Trail Blazers have a 3-2 record with Damian Lillard out of the lineup and a 7-4 record with him playing. While the team has played well without Lillard, it’s essential to have him in the lineup against the Western Conference’s premier teams.
The losses without Lillard were against the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns, two of the best teams in the West. So if the Trail Blazers are serious about competing this season, they’ll need to manage Lillard’s injury effectively because he’s absolutely vital to become a contender.