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- American professional basketball player
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will undergo surgery Thursday to address his abdomen injury and he will be reevaluated in six to eight weeks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
He saw two specialists this week — one in St. Louis and the other in Philadelphia — and both agreed this was the best course of action, sources said.
Lillard's return to play this season will depend on his health and where the team sits in the standings, sources said.
He has been publicly dealing with the injury since the Tokyo Olympics last summer. In early December, an MRI confirmed the lower abdominal tendinopathy, and Lillard later received a cortisone injection to mitigate the pain he has dealt with in the past few years.
He returned to action after the injection and played nine games in December before being sidelined again. Lillard last played on Dec. 31. He has missed 11 games this season. With the recovery timeline, this will be the most games he has missed in a single season in his career.
Lillard is averaging 24 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game this season, his 10th with the Trail Blazers.
Portland (16-24) is currently in 10th place and in the final play-in tournament spot in the Western Conference. The team is about to embark on a six-game road trip, starting Thursday in Denver. The Trail Blazers then take a swing through the Eastern Conference with games at Washington (Saturday), Orlando (Monday), Miami (Jan. 19), Boston (Jan. 21) and Toronto (Jan. 23).
The Trail Blazers also are without CJ McCollum, who suffered a pneumothorax of his right lung on Dec. 4 and has been out since. The shooting guard has recovered from the collapsed lung and is back in game shape, first-year head coach Chauncey Billups said earlier this week. McCollum and his wife, Elise, are expecting their first baby, and he will return to the team after the birth.