Damian Lillard’s 2021-22 season looks threatened.
Lillard would undergo surgery this week to treat an abdominal injury, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. He will be evaluated in six to eight weeks, and his return to the field this season will depend on his health and the position of the Trail Blazers.
Lillard hasn’t played since Dec.31 and has reportedly dealt with the issue throughout the season and since the Olympics last summer. He missed the time in early December after an MRI confirmed lower abdominal tendinopathy, and after meeting with a pair of specialists this week, the decision was made to continue with the surgery.
Out of 29 appearances this season, Lillard is averaging 24 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game with 40.2% field shots and 32.4% three-pointers. These shooting gaps are the lowest of his career, and 24 points per game would be the lowest mark he has reached since the 2014-15 season.
The Trail Blazers selected Lillard sixth overall in the 2012 Weber State Draft, and he’s been nothing less than a cornerstone of the franchise since. Over 11 seasons, he has career averages of 24.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.
Portland entered Wednesday 16-24 and in 10th place in the Western Conference, good for the last play-in place for the playoffs.