Damian Lillard to miss third straight game as Blazers face Cavs

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After playing and starting in the first 275 games of his NBA career, Damian Lillard is out for his third straight as he battles plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He will be sidelined on Saturday when the Blazers face the Cavs at home.

Via Erik Gundersen of the Columbian:

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard will miss his third consecutive game with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Saturday when his team face the LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The team announced the decision Saturday morning. Lillard had reportedly been targeting a return for Saturday’s clash with Irving and the Cavaliers. Plantar fasciitis is the type of injury that can linger and one that can really only be healed by rest. If the Blazers want to pretend to be in the playoff race for a couple of more months, they may not have enough time to let Lillard fully recover. Before this week, Lillard had never missed a game before in his four-year career.

 

The Blazers have lost both of the previous two games without Lillard (and their last five games overall), and even playing on a back-to-back, the Cavs should outmatch them by a pretty significant margin. Without Lillard, the Blazers can’t really hope to be seriously competitive in the Western Conference playoff race, but in the long term, it’s a good thing for them to hold their franchise player out as long as they need to for him to recover from the first significant injury of his career.