It’s been a rough season for the Portland Trailblazers.
Shooting guard C.J. McCollum has missed significant time with a collapsed lung—all while killing the team’s salary cap—first-time head coach Chauncey Billups has struggled to adapt to the rigors of the job and may have already lost the locker room, and six-time All-Star Damian Lillard, one of the most potent scorers in the entire league, has been crippled by an abdominal injury.
Oh, and they fired Neil Olshey, the team’s general manager and president of basketball operations, for “creating a hostile work environment with instances of bullying and intimidation.”
As a result of all of this, Portland has trotted out an inefficient collection of dilapidated parts that routinely embarrass themselves on defense, and don’t do enough on the offensive end to offset their humiliating descent down the Western Conference standings.
So with the team 10th in the West with a 16-24 record, now would be the worst possible time to get doused with even more bad news—yet here we are, courtesy of ESPN:
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is planning to have surgery to address a lingering abdominal injury, sources told ESPN.
A final decision on the procedure and the timeline are expected to be determined after consultations with doctors this week. The procedure is likely to keep Lillard out at least 6 to 8 weeks, sources said, but his recovery timeline could be determined by the course the Blazers take from here.
This is not exactly what Portland wanted to hear with their six-game road trip kicking off on Thursday, but it’s been that type of season for the Trailblazers. Lillard aggravated the injury while playing for Team USA during the Tokyo Olympics last summer, and hasn’t let him be great since.
Hopefully, Dame will be as good as new when he returns to the court, because with a potential contract extension looming this summer, the franchise has some important choices to make if it wants to become a championship contender.