The Portland Trail Blazers announced Tuesday that All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be sidelined for a week with a strained left groin.
Aldridge played through what he called a "minor" groin injury in games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers prior to the All-Star break. He then played 13 minutes in Sunday's All-Star Game in New Orleans, tallying four points (on 2-for-9 shooting) and five rebounds in 13 minutes.
If Aldridge is sidelined for exactly one week, he will miss Portland's next four games.
Wednesday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs will mark the first time all season that the Blazers will be without their full starting lineup of Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, Aldridge and Robin Lopez.
Additionally, reserve center Meyers Leonard will miss two-to-three weeks with a sprained left ankle that he suffered at practice on Tuesday. He will be sidelined for seven-to-11 games.
Reserve forward/center Joel Freeland is also sidelined for four-to-eight weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee that he suffered against the Thunder last week.
With Aldridge, Leonard and Freeland sidelined, Portland coach Terry Stotts is left with only Lopez and Thomas Robinson at the four and five positions. These absences should open up the possibility of small ball lineups featuring the likes of Dorell Wright, Nicolas Batum and possibly even Victor Claver at the four spot until Aldridge returns.
Aldridge, 28, is averaging 23.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 37 minutes per game over 53 appearances this season. Aldridge has posted a team-best +6.6 net rating this season and the Blazers possess a minus-8.3 net rating when he's been off the court this year.
Leonard, 21, is averaging 2.7 points and 3 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game over 21 appearances this season.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter