Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has undergone surgery to address a lingering abdominal injury, the team announced Thursday. News of his surgery was first reported by multiple outlets on Wednesday, including Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Per the Blazers, Lillard had surgery to repair “a core injury causing chronic abdominal pain” and the procedure was completed at The Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. He will be reevaluated in six weeks and Yahoo Sports reported Lillard is likely to miss six to eight weeks.
Damian Lillard has undergone abdominal surgery.
Get well soon, Dame ❤️https://t.co/ucswBFwefO
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 13, 2022
Lillard, who has dealt with the injury since the Tokyo Olympics last summer, has been out of Portland’s lineup since the calendar flipped to 2022. He last played on Dec. 31 in a road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In an interview with Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com, Lillard detailed how his injury has troubled him.
“Last year it was pretty bad,” Lillard said. “Going from that long season, playing a few months without Nurk [Jusuf Nurkic] and without CJ [McCollum] and having to play more minutes, then coming off a short summer after the bubble season where I was hurt in the bubble and going into last year and then not having a break after last year just training for the Olympics, going to the Olympics. At the Olympics it was as bad as it’s been and I was just like ‘Man, this is a real issue.’ There was really no time for me to do it. I just decided to rest.
“I took like 30 days where I didn’t do nothing and I felt a lot better coming into camp. I felt fresh, I had been working out and stuff, it hadn’t been giving me any trouble because I was coming off such a long break. And then the second that we started camp I felt good the first day, day and a half. Then I started to feel it again and I was like ‘Man, I thought the rest would help for a longer period of time.’ But it didn’t.”
Lillard told Blazers.com that the decision to have the surgery was not easy because of his love of the game. Once he cleared the hurdle mentally of having the procedure, he is now hoping to be back before too long.
“I know (surgery) is ultimately going to be what’s best for the team, too,” Lillard said. “I’d rather be selfish for the team, what I see for our organization and where I want it to go. It makes no sense to keep doing it the way we was doing it. It’s like, alright, take a step back to take how many steps forward. It’s just what had to happen.”
The six-time All-Star is averaging 24.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists across 29 appearances this season. He has missed 11 games.
The Blazers are 16-24 and 10th in the Western Conference.