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Moe Harkless still unsure about his fitness for opening night

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Portland’s presumptive starting small forward says his ankle feels good but his knee is still a “day-by-day” proposition.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers-Media Day Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers forward Moe Harkless is struggling to recover from knee surgery and his progress was thwarted again prior to Portland’s preseason matchup with the Phoenix Suns.

After the Blazers easy 116-83 win over the Suns, Harkless said he decided to sit out the game after pulling up sore during the pregame workout.

When asked about his chances of playing on opening night against the Lakers, Harkless was unable to give a yes or no answer.

“I’m taking it day by day, we got a week before that and if you look at the progress from this week to last week I think we made big jumps, so I’ve just got to continue to just put my all into getting better every day and that’s still the goal, so we’ll see.”

He said it would be good for him to play in the Blazer’s final preseason hitout against the Sacramento Kings on Friday but it wasn’t essential to him being ready for the Lakers game on October 18.

And while the injury had been plaguing him for longer than he had hoped, he said scaling back his training was not an option.

“The pain doesn’t linger for longer than a day when it comes, I feel pain for a day and then I feel fine, it’s just kind of one of those things that you need to monitor and rest accordingly and listen to your body.”

“I just got to keep a good attitude about it and not beat myself up about it, it’s been a battle I’ve been fighting all summer, it’s something that I’m kind of at peace with at this point.”

“I wasn’t expecting it but I wasn’t surprised that my knee was sore today.”

Harkless also acknowledged that the ankle injury that had kept him out of Sunday night preseason game against the Utah Jazz resulted from him over compensating for the injured knee.

Harkless appeared in 59 games for the Blazers last season, averaging 6.5 points in 21.4 minutes per game.