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Damian Lillard to Leave Playoffs Bubble for Injury Examination

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Lillard’s right knee needs another look, which likely eliminates him from Portland’s postseason run.

NBA: Playoffs-Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is leaving the Orlando bubble and the 2020 NBA Playoffs, returning to Portland for an examination of his injured right knee. Lillard hurt the knee during Game 4 of the Blazers’ first-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers. An initial MRI proved inconclusive. After a second MRI, the injury was diagnosed as a sprained knee.

Lillard was scheduled to miss Game 5 of the series, which was subsequently canceled as the players from various NBA teams—including the Blazers and Lakers—refused to take the floor today in protest of racial violence.

Though the NBA’s isolation protocols would allow Lillard to return to the bubble, and to play, were he physically able, he would have to undergo a period of testing for COVID-19 before being allowed contact. With the Blazers down 1-3 in the seven-game series, the point may be moot even if the playoffs do return from today’s boycott.

Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.

The Trail Blazers have released a statement as well: