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Trail Blazers' Nassir Little likely out for season due to shoulder injury

Trail Blazers' Nassir Little likely out for season due to shoulder injury
Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little (L), shown Jan. 30, 2021, suffered the shoulder injury during Tuesday night's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little is expected to miss the remainder of the season because of a left shoulder labral tear.

The Blazers announced Little's shoulder injury Thursday, but the team didn't provide a timetable for his return. According to ESPN, the expectation is that Little's injury will end his season.

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Little suffered the injury with 8:11 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers' 109-107 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. The injury occurred when Little jumped for a rebound alongside T-Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Little collapsed to the floor and appeared to be in obvious pain. After a few minutes, he gingerly walked to the bench.

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"I went for a rebound, my arms extended and 'KAT,' he was trying to get the ball down and my arm got caught up in there," Little said after the game. "I just got it strained a little bit and it was hurting a lot. But after I got up and moved my arm around, I realized I was all right."

Little's injury, however, turned out to be more serious and could force him to miss the rest of the year.

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Playing in his third NBA season, Little was in the midst of a career year with the Blazers. Portland has posted a 7-5 record in January, with Little averaging 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds on 45.4% shooting during that stretch.

Little, who was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2019 draft out of North Carolina, has averaged career bests in points (9.8), rebounds (5.6), assists (1.3), blocks (0.9) and steals (0.6) over 42 games -- 23 starts -- for the Blazers this season.

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