The 2020-21 Portland Trail Blazers season has been chock-full of major and nagging injuries.
Midway through the fourth quarter in Atlanta, Damian Lillard gingerly walked off the court during a Hawks timeout.
When Onyeka Okongwu came down after attempting to snag a rebound, he stepped on Lillard's left foot.
After holding his foot, Lillard was checked out by team trainers.
He stayed in the game, as Lillard often does to play through nagging injuries.
Following the 123-114 loss to the Hawks, Lillard gave an update on his foot.
Portland was down 15 when Lillard stayed in the game after dealing with the sore foot, but as Lillard also has shown time and time again, he always believes his team can complete the comeback.
“It’s a combined decision,” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts explained of deciding whenever Lillard or any other player walks off the court to get examined after a hard fall or hit will return to action.
“The health and performance department would not put him out there if he was at risk. You take the athlete’s viewpoint, if he’s able to go, and you make a medical decision. Obviously, those are the two that make the decision. And if they’re able to go then I make the decision if I want them in or not.”
The Trail Blazers All-Star point guard had already been dealing with a sore left foot.
“On the play he was getting ready to jump and he was coming down and he landed on my foot,” Lillard said. “So it just kind of irritated my foot.”
Lillard scored 15 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter to help keep the Blazers in the game.
With nagging injuries and playing aggressively on the defensive end in bursts, it was the second night of a back-to-back and the fifth straight game on the road in 10 days for Portland. It’s no wonder Lillard and the Blazers seemed to run out of gas Sunday.
Next up, Portland will have a much-needed day to rest before visiting Cleveland in the conclusion of their current six-game road trip as the Blazers look to go 5-1.