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Damian Lillard to move into reconditioning phase of return to action

Boston Celtics v Portland Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 4: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers before the game against the Boston Celtics on December 4, 2021 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 2021 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

We may not see Damian Lillard return to the court this season — he has said he’s not coming back just to compete for a draft pick — but he is making progress from his abdominal surgery.

The Trail Blazers released this update on Lillard on Sunday, announcing he is reaching a reconditioning phase.

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has progressed through the initial phase of his rehabilitation from abdominal surgery without setback. Lillard will begin the reconditioning phase of his rehab protocol next week, which includes the continuation of his strengthening program along with basketball skill activity. He will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks.

While he will be re-evaluated in a few weeks, it would be a surprise to see Lillard return this season to a Trail Blazers team now set up to retool the roster this offseason. Portland is rebuilding around Lillard, although other teams are watching Lillard for signs he is ready to bolt the Northwest and chase a ring somewhere else.

Whatever happens this offseason, it’s good to see Lillard take a step toward a return.