"Having To Deal With This Is Frustrating": Damian Lillard Back On The Shelf

Damian Lillard has been back this season to playing like the Top 75 of All-Time player that he's been throughout his career. That's after a frustrating 2021-22 season in which he missed 53 games to injury. But is the injury bug settling in again for Dame? 

The Portland Trail Blazers' franchise player will be forced to the sidelines once again with the same calf strain issue that caused him to miss four games earlier this month. He has Lillard a Grade 1 strain of the soleus muscle in the right lower leg and will be re-evaluated in one to two weeks.

I sat for 10 months, basically. I prepared myself to come back and be out there. I might have missed two games in my career one time for having a calf injury. And now, just having to deal with this is frustrating. Especially with the start that we’ve had.

Lillard is naturally frustrated, with the Blazers at 10-6, in 3rd spot in the Western Conference, and he himself averaging 26.3 points with 7.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds to lead the team.  

Lillard re-aggravated the calf strain in the 3rd quarter of Saturday night's loss to the Utah Jazz, forcing him out of the game. He sat dejected in front of his locker after the game according to Eric Fentress of The Oregonian, with a look of disbelief on his face. 

The Blazers will be ultra-cautious with their 6-time All-Star point guard. And he gets it. 

The imaging revealed a right calf strain in a different area from his previous injury, according to Insider Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

“I’ve got to respect what they say and I also can’t be a fool and fight my way through everything and hurt myself worse,” Lillard said. “It’s a hard thing to do because that’s not what I want to do. I’m always going to try to play. But once it’s done, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Lillard sat out most of last season after a core muscle injury that led to surgery. 

Photo: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports