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Damian Lillard (groin) expects to miss at least 3-5 games

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard says he expects to miss at least 3-5 games as he deals with a groin injury.

Lillard, 29, was diagnosed with a strained groin after Portland’s game against Memphis on Feb. 12, forcing him to miss the All-Star Game and MTN DEW 3-point contest last weekend.

More importantly, the injury is requiring Lillard to miss valuable time for a team chasing a playoff berth. Portland is 25-31 and four games behind Memphis for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.

“I’ve gotta take time off to let it heal completely, but once that happens I’ll be back out there,” Lillard said.

The Blazers next five contests include a homestand against New Orleans, Detroit and Boston, with road games in Indiana and Atlanta capping off the projected period of Lillard’s absence.

Lillard is averaging a career-high 29.7 points and 7.9 assists per game.