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Lillard Positive After Surgery, Not Necessarily Returning

Portland’s All-Star will make a decision on return date at a later time.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

Damian Lillard is feeling positive after successful surgery to repair an abdominal injury but that does not mean he’ll be returning to the Portland Trail Blazers lineup soon. Lillard held a press conference for Portland media today in which he addressed his health following a January 13th operation for an injury to his core that has been plaguing him for several seasons.

Per multiple sources, including Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin, Lillard told media he was feeling good and that all signs are positive at this point. That does not mean a return is imminent. Highkin paraphrases Lillard, saying his return depends on Portland’s position. Highkin also suggests that Lillard “seemed open” to sitting out the season if the Blazers are not in position to make the playoffs and/or if the plan is to play for a lottery pick.

The Blazers owe a protected first-round pick in 2022 to the Chicago Bulls, a legacy of the trade that brought the franchise Larry Nance, Jr. If Portland makes the playoffs, that pick will transfer to Chicago. If the Blazers miss the post-season, they would retain the pick and participate in the 2022 NBA Lottery.

Lillard has averaged 24.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 7.3 assists for the Blazers so far in 29 appearances this season. He missed 6 of Portland’s first 35 games before going on the inactive list for good at the start of January.


Orlando Sanchez from KGW Sports is adding video and quotes to the story.


More from the interview opportunity...

On looking forward to family time:

Milwaukee Bucks guard and fellow Olympian Jrue Holiday helped Dame narrow down the problem:

Clarifying his stance on a return this year: