Damian Lillard knew what it was almost instantly. By the time he was back in the locker room, Lillard was saying he had strained his groin, and with that was out of the All-Star Game (but he’s still rapping as Dame D.O.L.L.A.).
Now a team MRI has confirmed it. The Trail Blazers announced that, yes, Lillard does have a strained groin, and he will be re-evaluated in a week. That is right before Portland returns to play after the All-Star break (its first game is Friday, Feb. 21, against New Orleans, one of the other teams trying to chase down the final playoff spot in the West). Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports the strain has a 1-2 week recovery time, and with groin injuries teams tend to be cautious because it is common to think it is healed when it is not, then the re-injury is worse.
Which means expect Lillard to miss at least some time after the All-Star break.
WATCH Damian Lillard suffers right groin strain pic.twitter.com/8DpCwHhw4X
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) February 13, 2020
Portland can’t afford for him to be out long as it tries to make up the four games it is behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West.
The injury was just an unfortunate fluke. With less than four minutes to go before the All-Star break, Damian Lillard drove the lane against Memphis Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas, landed and was in instant pain, grabbing his groin. He soon fouled to stop play and went straight to the locker room. After the game, Lillard said he was out of the All-Star Game on Sunday, where Devon Booker has replaced him.