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Gary Payton II Will Miss Start of Trail Blazers Season Due to Injury

The highly-anticipated free agent will need to wait a couple weeks before suiting up.

2022-23 Portland Trail Blazers Media Day Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers wing Gary Payton II will miss the start of the 2022-23 regular season as he continues to recover from a core muscle injury. The Trail Blazers sent out a press release this afternoon updating Payton’s status. They indicated that he would be reevaluated in two weeks.

Two weeks from today would be October 27th. Before then, the Blazers will face the Sacramento Kings on October 19th, the Phoenix Suns on the 21st, the Los Angeles Lakers on the 23rd, the Denver Nuggets on the 24th and the Miami Heat on October 26th. The earliest Payton could return based on this timeline would be Portland’s October 28th game against the Miami Heat.

The 6’3 G/F averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game for the World Champion Golden State Warriors last season. He played in 71 games, starting 16.

Portland signed the free agent to a three-year, $26 million contract this summer.

Here is the text of the press release from the Blazers:

PORTLAND, Ore. (October 13, 2022) – Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II continues to recover from an off-season procedure to address a core muscle injury. Although his rehab continues to progress well, he will miss the start of the regular season. Payton’s return to play timeline will be re-evaluated in two weeks.