Damian Lillard has had a tough year this season, as he has been dealing with an abdominal injury. He has only played in 29 of the Trail Blazers' games this year.
The abdominal issue was definitely serious, and there's no doubt that it has affected Damian Lillard's performance this season. It was reported earlier this month that Damian Lillard could end up missing the rest of the season due to this issue.
Don't be surprised if Damian Lillard has played his last game of the 2021-22 NBA season.
As the Portland Trail Blazers sink lower toward the bottom of the Western Conference standings, Lillard continues to deal with a case of lower abdominal tendinopathy that's had him in and out of the lineup and playing well below his All-NBA standard.
Recently, Damian Lillard spoke to Jason Quick of The Athletic and shared that he had ended up going through surgery for the issue. He didn't rule out coming back but added that it "wouldn't make sense" for him to play if the franchise wanted to focus on getting a top-tier draft pick from the lottery this season.
No. We haven’t gone that far. I’m just a week from surgery, and we said we will re-evaluate my situation weeks out — six to eight weeks — and we will talk about it then. But I’m not in a rush. My No. 1 goal is to win a championship, and like I said, I have to be in the best form of myself to make that happen and to be a part of that. So I’m not in a rush. We will talk about whatever that timeline is when we get to that point.
I mean, if we are going to play for a draft pick, it wouldn’t make sense for me … because I’m not going to play for no draft pick. I’m just not capable of that. So it would be best, if that was what we were doing or what was decided, then it wouldn’t make sense for me to play.
The Portland Trail Blazers are currently the 10th seed in the Western Conference. While they could decide to push for the playoffs via that route, it is also equally understandable if they decided to tank.
It would be unfortunate if we did not get to see Damian Lillard again this season, but obviously, his health takes priority. Perhaps it could be best to regroup next season after the Trail Blazers select a top prospect with their pick, but it remains to be seen which direction the franchise will choose.