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Maurice Lucas to Miss Remainder of Season

From the team. I know many of you have asked about this ....

Portland - Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Maurice Lucas underwent successful bladder cancer surgery on Tuesday, the Trail Blazers announced today. Doctors anticipate a recovery period of 6-to-8 weeks. Lucas will not return to the bench for the remainder of the 2008-09 season.

"I'm disappointed that I will be missing this stretch run," Lucas said. "I am so proud of how our guys have played and I'm confident that I will spend a good deal of my recovery time watching us win games."

A 14-year NBA/ABA veteran and four-time All-Star, Lucas was a starting forward on the Trail Blazers 1977 NBA Championship team.

"Luke was in great spirits when I visited him yesterday," Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said. "His biggest complaint was that I didn't bring a DVD so he could see Tuesday's win."

Lucas, 57, joined Head Coach Nate McMillan's staff in 2005.

"We are going to miss Luke, and will all be praying for his quick recovery," Head Coach Nate McMillan said. "Anybody who knows Maurice knows there isn't a tougher guy out there. We look forward to his return as soon as he is ready."

Trail Blazers fans who wish to send cards or letters to Coach Lucas, can do so care of the Portland Trail Blazers, One Center Court, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97227.

-- Ben (