Damian Lillard To Return Monday For Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (right calf strain) is officially listed as questionable for Monday’s matchup at Miami, but league sources tell Chris Haynes of TNT (Twitter link) that the veteran star will return tonight after a four-game absence.

Lillard suffered the injury on October 26 in a loss to the Heat, so it’s fitting that he’ll make his return against them tonight. The team previously announced that he would be reevaluated in one-to-two weeks, and Monday is 12 days removed from the injury date, so he’s right on target.

An iron man for much of his NBA career, Lillard missed more than nine games in a season for the first time in 2021/22 when he underwent abdominal surgery, which limited him to 29 games. He’d gotten off to a terrific start in ’22/23 prior to sustaining the calf strain, averaging 31.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists on .495/.392/.929 shooting in five games (35.0 minutes per night).

In addition to Lillard, fellow starting guard Anfernee Simons – who re-signed with Portland on a four-year, $100MM contract over the summer – has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable against the Heat with left foot soreness. He has missed the past two games with the injury.

The Trail Blazers are currently 6-3 through nine games, including handing the top-seeded Suns their only two losses.

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