Tough Break For Anfernee Simons & Trail Blazers

A brutal break for the young Portland Trail Blazers, as top scorer Anfernee Simons has suffered a torn ligament in his thumb and won't be back in the lineup for well over a month.

The injury occurred in the Blazers' season opener Wednesday night, after he drained 18 points as the new leading man in Portland with Damian Lillard now in Milwaukee. Simons suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the right thumb, which will require surgery. He's expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Sports injury expert Jeff Stotts reports that projected timeline is on the light side of the usual time missed with this type of injury, though that might be a trend.

Stotts says that surgery to fix torn UCLs has improved in recent years and is likely a reason for quicker recovery timelines than in the past. 

Nevertheless, that will cut into the much-needed chemistry time for the exciting new Portland backcourt of the future, with rookie Scoot Henderson and Simons.

The 24-year-old, 6th-year guard averaged a career-high 21.1 points last season, along with 4.1 assists and 37.7% shooting from long range. He's entering the second year of a 4-year, $100M contract signed in July of 2022. 

 Photo: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports