Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Report: Lillard received cortisone injection, could return this weekend

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, OREGON - OCTOBER 29: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts against the LA Clippers during the first quarter at Moda Center on October 29, 2021 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. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Portland has lost three in a row with Damian Lillard out of the lineup, stretching their skid to 6-of-7 overall, and now the team will be without CJ McCollum indefinitely after he suffered a collapsed lung. The Trail Blazers have the worst defense in the NBA, coach Chauncey Billups is frustrated with the team’s effort level, and if the postseason started today the Trail Blazers would barely make the play-in as the 10 seed (and they are in danger of falling below that spot in the standings). All that without even mentioning Portland’s off-the-court issues.

The lone ray of sunshine in it all — Lillard could return this weekend from the lower abdominal tendinopathy that has sidelined him, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (who is close to Lillard).

Lillard had the shot and will be re-evaluated Friday, meaning he could play Sunday against the Timberwolves, according to the report.

Lillard has been battling the abdominal issue for months, and we saw it during the Tokyo Olympics, where he was not his vintage self. It has been the same to start this NBA season. Lillard averages 21.5 points a game (it was 28.8 last season), and he is shooting 30.2% from 3 (down from 39.1%).

Getting a cortisone shot should reduce the pain and inflammation Lillard is feeling. Which is good, the Blazers need him to return to his All-NBA form if this season is going to be salvaged.