Sunday update: The timeline for Lillard’s absence is said to be 1-2 weeks, which is what the timeline for the original strain was as well. The Blazers might give him a few extra days just to be safe, as they don’t want this to be a recurring thing every 5-10 games.
Sunday update: Lillard is expected to miss some time after being diagnosed with a calf strain after Saturday’s game against the Jazz. This is the same calf Lillard previously strained this season, according to Chris Haynes. Lillard will likely be sidelined for a bit longer here as the Blazers don’t want this to be a recurring injury.
The Portland Trail Blazers have ruled point guard Damian Lillard out for the rest of Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz with a calf injury. Lillard previously missed time this season with a calf strain, so Portland isn’t taking any chances here.
Damian Lillard will not return tonight with right calf tightness.— Mike Lynch (@MikeLynch27) November 20, 2022
The Trail Blazers were quick to rule Lillard out, as he was scratched almost immediately after he left the game to go to the locker room. Lillard is the franchise player and given the team’s impressive start, there’s reason to protect him. This could be a big year for the Blazers and they need Lillard healthy in order to make a deep run. He’ll finish Saturday’s game with 13 points and seven assists in 27 minutes.
The Blazers will turn to Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe as the preferred backcourt duo in Lillard’s absence. Simons has been thrust into this role before, while Sharpe is a highly valued rookie who could benefit from extended playing time.