Damian Lillard suffers groin strain, expected to miss All-Star Game

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard suffered a groin strain late in Wednesday’s 111-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

He’s expected to miss the 3-point contest during the NBA’s All-Star Saturday festivities in addition to Sunday’s All-Star game. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports that Lillard underwent an MRI on Thursday that confirmed a groin strain. The recovery period is 1 to 2 weeks.

“Obviously that’s something that you look forward to, those festivities and having fun. But my health is first,” Lillard said. “I knew right away that wasn’t going to happen. I’ll still be there and be a part of it, but I’m not going to be able to play. Hopefully somebody who should’ve been there that didn’t make it [will take my place], but unfortunately I had to be the fall guy.”

Even though he won’t be playing, Lillard will still be a part of the weekend.

Lillard didn’t hear a pop

Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports that Lillard didn’t hear a pop when he suffered the injury and plans to spend the All-Star weekend recovering.

Lillard is in the midst of a career season, averaging 29.7 points, 7.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds while hitting four 3-pointers per game at a 39.5 percent clip. He’s been on a tear during the last month, averaging 38.4 points and 9.4 assists while hitting 5.5 3-pointers per game.

Portland needs Lillard back soon

The Trail Blazers are in a battle to make the playoffs, trailing the Grizzlies by four games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West following Wednesday’s loss. They’ll need Lillard to return to form soon after the All-Star break if they hope to make a postseason push.

Lillard’s absence in the All-Star game opens up a roster spot that will likely to go to Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, who was widely considered the game’s biggest snub in the midst of an outstanding season.

Damian Lillard is scheduled for an MRI after suffering a groin strain. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

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