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Damian Lillard leaves game with return of right calf tightness

Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 19: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the game against the Utah Jazz on November 19, 2022 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Damian Lillard missed four games a few weeks ago due to right calf tightness.

Friday night he checked himself out of the game in the third quarter with tightness in the same calf.

Here’s a postgame quote from Lillard, via Sean Highkin and his Rose Garden Report (Blazers fans should subscribe).

“I haven’t felt it since the first time I strained it,” Lillard said after the game. “The first time I hurt it, I felt it. This time, I took off running back on defense and felt like it tightened up. I kind of just started pushing on my toes. I could tell it was irritated. I kind of had a conversation with myself. I wanted to see how I felt. I was sitting for two weeks. I didn’t want to go out there and do the same thing over again. I came out and let them look at it and that was it.”

Lillard, who had shot 2-of-14 before checking out, said that while this didn’t feel as bad as last time but he expects to miss some games. Lillard is averaging 26.3 points and seven assists a game this season, he’s been explosive and is playing at an All-Star level again.

Portland is 3-2 this season in games Lillard sits, and after Saturday’s loss to Utah — their second consecutive loss — they are 10-6 on the season, tied for second in the West (with the win, the Jazz now have the top record in the West). Portland is headed for a tough stretch of games, with 6-of-7 on the road — the Bucks and the Cavaliers are the first two — with the only home game in that stretch against a Clippers team getting healthy with Kawhi Leonard back.