21.7 F
New York
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups says Damian Lillard’s return this season uncertain

The return of Damian Lillard this season is in doubt.

The Portland Trail Blazers guard underwent surgery Thursday morning in Philadelphia to repair a core injury that caused the All-Star chronic abdominal pain. The team announced that Lillard would be reevaluated in six weeks.

But Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said before his team’s game Thursday night at Denver that it remained up in the air whether Lillard would return this season.

“That’s something that we don’t know right now, to be honest with you,” Billups said. “We’re gonna reevaluate it and see how he feels. See where we’re at, obviously. There’s a lot of things that naturally will go into that.”

The Blazers (16-25) entered Thursday in 10th place in the Western Conference. They started a six-game trip at Denver and will play 10 of their next 12 games on the road, where they are 2-13 this season.

Regardless of what Lillard’s absence means to the team, Billups said he was happy to see Lillard find some relief from the pain that has bothered him off and on for several years.

“I’ve spent a lot of time over the season talking to him and just him telling me several times, like, he doesn’t even know what it feels like to play healthy,” Billups said. “It’s been so long.”

The surgery is expected to change that.

“I’m happy that he’s gonna be able to get healthy and come back with his mind fresh, his body fresh, it will be great,” Billups said. “And I’m happy for us, too, because we don’t have to think about it every day. “Our guys don’t have to think about it. … We can just kind of move on and let him heal and chill. And then we can do our thing and come back together when the time happens.”

Lillard has missed 12 games already this season while fighting through the injury. Given where the team is, Billups said the obvious choice was for Lillard to have surgery.

“From my perspective, we’ve struggled a lot this season and it makes no sense for him to risk hurting something else while you’re trying to stay off of that area,” Billups said. “Just get healthy, man.”

— Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories

Source

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

10 + twelve =

Latest Articles