Trail Blazers Star Damian Lillard Undergoes Successful Stomach Surgery to Treat Abdominal Injury, Lillard’s Absence to Impact Team Formation

Damian Lillard Undergoes Surgery for Stomach Injury, Faces Lengthy Recovery

In a difficult decision, Damian Lillard, the renowned point guard of the Portland Trail Blazers, has opted for core stomach surgery to repair a lingering abdominal injury. After initially sustaining the injury within the NBA Bubble in 2020, Lillard unfortunately aggravated it while preparing for the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Despite a month of rest, the injury failed to heal properly, prompting Lillard to take action.

A Struggle for Recovery

Reflecting on his condition, Lillard expressed his frustration, stating, “It was pretty bad during the Olympics. I thought resting for 30 days after the Olympics would help, but it didn’t.” As the new NBA season commenced, Lillard’s performance suffered noticeably. The Trail Blazers struggled with a 5-7 start in November, prompting a brief hiatus for Lillard in the hopes of recuperation. However, even cortisone shots yielded minimal relief.

Throughout the season, Lillard’s statistics dipped in comparison to his previous stellar performances. Averaging 24 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game in 29 appearances, he fell short of his previous standards. Most notably, his usually sharp 3-point shooting also suffered. Eventually, the decision was made to sideline Lillard for a few weeks, coinciding with the team’s road trip.

The Final Resort: Surgery

Following consultations with abdominal specialists and medical experts, it became clear that surgery was the necessary step forward. Lillard acknowledged the need for a different approach, explaining, “It makes no sense to keep doing it the way we did it. It’s just what had to happen.” With the surgical procedure complete, Lillard faces a recovery timeline of at least six weeks, a period during which his absence will undoubtedly be felt on the court.

Will Lillard Return? Blazers Face Decisions

The question now arises – will Lillard be able to return to play this season, or will the Trail Blazers make the prudent choice of shutting down their valuable All-Star guard for the remainder of the campaign? The team has announced plans to assess Lillard’s progress after the six-week mark before making any further decisions. Typically, similar surgeries require six to eight weeks of recovery time.

Speculation has emerged regarding the Blazers’ intentions for the season. Rumors suggest the possibility of the team intentionally tanking in order to secure a more favorable position in the lottery pick. As the NBA trade deadline approaches, just four weeks away, the franchise will soon unveil its strategy.

Unsettled Future for Lillard and McCollum

Complicating matters is the uncertainty surrounding Lillard’s future with the Blazers. While he has expressed his desire to remain in Portland for his entire career, economic factors within the NBA may potentially alter his path. Additionally, Lillard’s teammate and backcourt partner, CJ McCollum, has been entangled in trade rumors, particularly involving the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons. McCollum himself has been sidelined due to a collapsed lung.

A Challenging Road Ahead

Currently sitting in the eleventh spot in the Western Conference with a record of 16-24, the Blazers find themselves on the playoff bubble. However, their prospects seem bleak, especially considering their upcoming schedule. Out of their next twelve games, ten will be played on the road, which has historically posed challenges for the team. Their abysmal road record of 2-13 underscores the difficulty they face away from the Moda Center.

With the news of Lillard’s surgery, the Blazers’ odds of winning the 2022 NBA Championship have significantly dropped to +15000, down from +12000. It remains to be seen how the team will adjust and overcome this setback.


Damian Lillard’s decision to undergo core stomach surgery highlights the severity of his abdominal injury and the urgency to find a lasting solution. As fans eagerly await updates on his recovery, the Trail Blazers must navigate crucial decisions about his potential return and the overall strategy for the rest of the season. Additionally, speculation looms regarding Lillard’s future with the team, as well as the status of CJ McCollum. The road ahead is undeniably challenging, with a grueling schedule and mounting expectations for the Blazers. Only time will tell how they will overcome these obstacles and emerge stronger.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long will Damian Lillard be out due to surgery?

Damian Lillard is projected to be out for at least six weeks following his core stomach surgery.

2. Will Damian Lillard return to play this season?

The decision on whether Damian Lillard will return to play this season will depend on his progress after the initial six-week recovery period.

3. What are the implications for the Trail Blazers if Lillard doesn’t return this season?

If Damian Lillard doesn’t return this season, the Trail Blazers will face challenges in maintaining their position in the Western Conference and securing a playoff spot.

4. Is Damian Lillard considering a trade?

While Damian Lillard has expressed a desire to stay in Portland, trade rumors have circulated due to the economic landscape of the NBA. However, nothing has been confirmed at this point.

5. How has CJ McCollum’s absence affected the Trail Blazers?

CJ McCollum’s absence due to a collapsed lung has added further complications for the Trail Blazers, as they navigate the challenges of the season without one of their key players. The team is actively exploring potential trade scenarios involving McCollum.

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