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Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard to undergo abdominal surgery, could miss 6-8 weeks

Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard to undergo abdominal surgery, could miss 6-8 weeks
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard last appeared in a game Dec. 31 against the Los Angeles Lakers. File Photo by Steve Dipaola/EPA-EFE

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard is expected to undergo surgery to address a lingering abdominal injury and could miss the remainder of the season.

League sources told ESPN, Yahoo Sports and The Athletic on Wednesday that Lillard will have the procedure Thursday and likely will miss at least six to eight weeks. The outlets reported that the All-Star guard met with two specialists this week, and both agreed that surgery was the best course of action.

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Lillard's return to the court this season will depend on his health and where the Trail Blazers sit in the standings at the time of his recovery.

The 31-year-old Lillard hasn't appeared in a game for the Blazers since Dec. 31 due to lower abdominal tendinopathy.

Lillard aggravated his abdominal injury while playing for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics last year. He has battled the ailment throughout the season, which has led to a decrease in his shooting and scoring figures.

The six-time All-Star selection has averaged 24 points and 7.3 assists over 29 games for the Blazers this season. However, he is shooting a career-worst 40.2% from the field and 32.4% from 3-point range.

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Portland, which has a 4-7 record without Lillard this season, is set to begin a six-game road trip Thursday against the Denver Nuggets. The Trail Blazers currently sit 10th in the Western Conference standings.

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