Aldridge hospitalized; Howard will likely start in regular-season finale

TUALATIN, Ore. — Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge was hospitalized Tuesday night due to a stomach virus, and stayed overnight for evaluation. He is expected to be released today from the hospital.

Aldridge, who is also dealing with a left-calf contusion, is listed as doubtful because of viral gastroenteritis for tonight’s regular-season finale against Golden State at the Rose Garden.

Veteran forward Juwan Howard will likely replace Aldridge in the starting lineup.

Heading into tonight’s game, the Blazers have missed 307 games due to injury.

“It’s no surprise,” said Howard, following a morning shootaround at the team’s practice facility. “Unfortunately for LaMarcus, for his health, I feel bad for him. But, hey: I wish him a speedy recovery. I mean ‘speedy,’ because we really need him.”

The Blazers will also close their 2009-10 regular season without All-Star guard Brandon Roy, who is out with a slight meniscus tear in his right knee. Roy is listed as day to day for the playoffs, but chances are slim that he will play. He will require knee surgery following the Blazers’ playoff run.

Roy was at the team’s practice facility today, but was not made available to the media. He was seen walking through the weight room, and then met with Blazers coach Nate McMillan in McMillan’s office.

A Portland victory or a San Antonio loss tonight will give the Blazers the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Portland’s first-round opponent is still to be determined — Dallas, Phoenix and Utah are possibilities.

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