LaMarcus Aldridge (left foot) OUT Monday against Oklahoma City

(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Portland Trail Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge will be held out of Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The team announced the news on Monday before the game.

Aldridge was held out of Saturday’s loss to the Utah Jazz with the same “left foot sprain” injury. Head coach Terry Stotts said that Aldridge had felt some soreness following their loss to Golden State last Thursday.

From Terry Stotts’ availability before Saturday’s game:

“He had an MRI yesterday and there was soreness there,” head coach Terry Stotts said. “So we thought it was best to hold him out and let him recover. Oklahoma City, we’ll see.”

Stotts said that Aldridge the foot started bothering him after the Golden State game and while the results were negative he still had some soreness. Stotts said he didn’t have an idea for when Aldridge would come back or whether the injury had been nagging him prior to feeling soreness after the game in Oakland.

“I think it’s good to maintain a competitive edge,” Stotts said when asked whether he’d like him to play before the playoffs.  “I’d like for him to get some minutes in before the playoffs start.”

We wrote following Saturday’s game that it seemed most likely, judging from player and coach comments as well as some reading between the lines, that Aldridge’s most likely return would be Wednesday against Dallas in his hometown.

This makes sense for multiple reasons: A) it’s his hometown and B) it allows him to get a little bit of a rhythm before heading into the playoffs. Aldridge is one of the few guys that actually likes the preseason because it allows him to get a rhythm going into the season. So, it would make sense that he would like to get a game in before the playoffs start.

However, if he does sit out against Dallas, I would raise my eyebrow a little bit and start wondering if the foot injury is a little more serious. But the MRI’s didn’t indicate that it is at least according to the team.

With Portland confined to their playoff seed, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t at least sit this one out.

And there’s no reason that we shouldn’t see heavy doses of the Tim Frazier show to give Damian Lillard a little bit of a rest even though he can still play in all 82 games for the third straight season, which he wears as a badge of honor. There’s not reason not to curtail his minutes as the season winds down.

Batum also said his back hurt “a little bit” after Saturday’s game. Fewer minutes wouldn’t be a bad idea for him either. Because the Blazers need all three to play like stars if they have a hope of winning in the playoffs.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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