Portland, raw – Damian Lillard The Portland Trail Blazers left a 119-98 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night due to a strain in his right calf.
Lillard, the six-time All-Star, came limp just over five minutes before to go in the third quarter and headed straight into the locker room. No longer.
Speaking after the game, Lillard said his calf felt a little tight before the warning and that the tightness didn’t go away in the first half, which prompted him to put some pressure on him in the first half. He said that when he got up for a shot in the third quarter, it stiffened even more, which led to his exit.
“I wasn’t overly concerned about anything,” he told reporters. “I just know that it wouldn’t make sense to try to overtake her in the fifth game of the season.”
Lillard said he did not have an MRI or any additional tests.
“Honestly, if this had been a playoff, I would have played,” he said. “It could have been tight and uncomfortable, but I would have played. If that gives you any indication of how anxious I am now or what I would have been like.”
Lillard said he is unlikely to play Friday night when the Blazers host the Houston Rockets. Next, Portland got a break before hosting the Memphis Grizzlies next Wednesday.
“Now I have to get smart, make sure I get two sessions of therapy every day, and just try to extend it,” he said. “So I probably won’t play that game on Friday. That’s going to give me six sessions maybe some days, three sessions maybe other days, and we’ll try to be ready for that session. We’ll see.”
Lillard scored 22 points, including four three-pointers, before he was injured. He scored more than 30 points in three of the team’s first four games this season.
The injury, however slight, was frightening for the Blazers because Lillard missed 47 games last season with a nagging abdominal injury that required surgery. In the first four games of this season, he finally looked fit and nimble.
“It’s early,” he said. “We’re off to a good start. Things are good. I haven’t been this happy since my second or third year.” “All I did this summer was just increase. I feel fast, I feel strong. I don’t get tired. And I don’t want to lose that. So I have to be patient and I can’t get ahead of myself.”
Portland was the last team undefeated in the Western Conference.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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