Reports: Damian Lillard (ankle) OUT Monday for preseason game at Utah
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will sit out for the second straight preseason game with an slight ankle injury Monday vs. the Utah Jazz, per multiple reports. Lillard tweaked the ankle last Thursday against the Golden State Warriors at the Moda Center. He anticipated because it is the preseason that he could miss those games.
According to Casey Holdahl of TrailBlazers.com, Lillard’s ankle still isn’t pain-free.
Lillard said that while his ankle isn’t pain-free, it is “an uncomfortable I could play with.” But by sitting out Monday’s game, Lillard will have a total of 10 days rest before the Trail Blazers play their next preseason game on October 18th, also against the Jazz.
“Instead of coming out tonight and trying to play because it’s minimal, we decided that there’s no reason to go out risk turning it again and have a setback,” said Lillard. “It would be best to sit this one out, keep working out, keep working on my endurance and then we’ll have a whole week to just practice and work out before we play them again next weekend. That’s the plan.”
The Blazers, as Holdahl mentioned, have a six day break between tonight and their next game, Sunday at the Moda Center. It makes all the sense to give Lillard an extended period off, especially when you consider he’ll have to play 36 minutes every night during the regular season.
The Blazers also listed Moe Harkless as “probable” to play on Monday against the Jazz. Harkless has missed the last two preseason games with a concussion. Without Harkless in the line-up or Lillard, the rookie Pat Connaughton led the Blazers in minutes with 31.
Allen Crabbe got the start at shooting guard on Saturday while CJ McCollum took over the point guard duties, scoring 30 points, four assists and no turnovers.