Trail Blazers To Get Star Back In The Lineup

He's missed four games with a calf strain, and the timing couldn't have been worse, as Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard had been tearing it up to start the season, averaging 31 points per game. But finally, it's about to be Dame Time once again.

Portland went 2-2 in Lillard's absence and are still tied for 4th spot in the Western Conference at 6-3. He originally suffered the injury against the Miami Heat, and his return, ironically, will come Monday night in a return engagement against the Heat. 

Lillard had never been a player to miss much time throughout his career until last season. He needed surgery on an abdominal problem which kept him out of all but 29 games. This season, in the first five games of the season, Lillard was averaging 31 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and shooting 39.2% from 3-point range. 

The 6-time All-Star played in 73 games or more per season for the first seven years of his career. He's averaged 24.7 points and 6.6 assists in his 10-year career, and the Blazers are hoping he picks up right where he left off as he joins the lineup tonight. 

Rookie Shaedon Sharpe had been filling in in the starting lineup in Lillard's absence; he'll move back to a bench role. 

Photo: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports