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Gary Payton II Still Out as Trail Blazers Face Warriors

Payton was hoping to make his Blazers debut this week. It’s not happening.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers-Media Day Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Payton II hoped to return to the NBA hardwood, suiting up for the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time this week. After signing a free agent contract in the Summer of 2022, the guard has been recovering from abdominal surgery and reconditioning himself to the rigors of professional basketball. But as Blazers writer Casey Holdahl reports, Payton will not return yet, missing the chance to line up against his former Golden State Warriors teammates in Portland’s game tomorrow night.

Last week, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the defensive-minded guard was hoping to make his Blazers debut soon.

On December 12, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the 30-year-old expected to play in one-to-two weeks.

Unfortunately, the Warriors bout is the team’s last game for the week and no further timeline has been established for his return.

The 30-year-old is still expected to receive the championship ring he won with the San Francisco franchise tomorrow night.

Payton II won’t be the only player to miss the game. Nassir Little and Justise Winslow are out with injuries, Keon Johnson and Greg Brown III out with non-COVID illnesses. The Blazers will be left with 11 players to face the Warriors. Golden State will be without Steph Curry and possibly Andrew Wiggins in return.