Aldridge (left groin strain) out at least a week, Leonard (left ankle sprain) out 2-3 weeks

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

The Portland Trail Blazers were dealt some tough injury news on the eve of their first game since the All-Star break: Both LaMarcus Aldridge and Meyers Leonard will miss upcoming games due to injury.

Aldridge, who is averaging 23.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.00 blocked shot in 53 games for the Trail Blazers this season, will be out at least a week with a left groin strain. It’s been a slow developing problem since at least the game against the Timberwolves on Feb. 8 in which Aldridge sat in the fourth quarter.

“A little beat up, but I got through it” said Aldridge after that victory. “That’s why I wasn’t in there at the end. My body has been a little bit sore, some nagging things, but I got through it.”

Some questioned why Aldridge played just 13 minutes on Sunday in the 2014 All-Star Game, now some will likely wonder if he should have played at all, although the brand of basketball played in the All-Star Game didn’t seem all that rigorous, at least in comparison to the 37 minutes he played in Portland’s last game before the break.

Aldridge will be reevaluated in a week, which means he could miss more time depending on how the groin heals. Portland has five games in the next eight days, four of which are at the Moda Center.

Leonard’s injury, a left ankle sprain, occurred during the team’s

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practice on Tuesday. He had played very limited minutes for at least the last month until Joel Freeland went down with a right MCL sprain. The second year center out of Illinois played 14 minutes in the last two games since Freeland’s injury, and now he’ll join him on the bench for at least the rest of February.

The loss of Aldridge is obviously the toughest for Terry Stotts to replace, in that it’s impossible considering what the 6-11 power forward has meant to the Trail Blazers this season. The Blazers have played the same starting lineup in every game this season and now will likely start either Thomas Robinson or Victor Claver in Aldridge’s place. It’s also a guarantee Stotts will employ various “small ball” lineups, at least until Aldridge is cleared to return.

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Aldridge On Sitting Out A Week: ‘Just trying to make sure it’s nothing lingering later on’

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

LaMarcus Aldridge took questions from the media prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Spur at the Moda Center regarding the left groin strain that will keep him sidelined for at least the next week. Aldridge said that the groin had been nagging at him for a while, and that he and the team came to the conclusion that trying to get healthy now was the best approach.

“We’re just being cautious right now,” said Aldridge. “We all talked about it and I think it’s just the best thing to do right now.”

The 6-11 power forward said that, while he’s been feeling discomfort in his groin since at least Feb. 8, the pain never got to the level where he felt as though he needed to sit out, at least a full game.

“Really didn’t start feeling it until maybe Minnesota game, but it wasn’t really bad ever,” said Aldridge. “Then it was just kind of nagging. It gets worse at night after I play. We just looked at it and (rest) is what we’re going to do.”

Aldridge said that he can’t run and jump for at least a week, which is when he’ll be reevaluated. While there’s no guarantee he’ll be cleared to play when he’s checked out again on Tuesday, he said he doesn’t think the injury is all that bad, as he was able to play in back-to-back games before the All-Star break.

“If I could play these last two games (versus the Thunder and Clippers) then maybe,” said Aldridge when asked if he was worried about the injury being more serious, “but not now. I played in those games and it’s just trying to make sure it’s nothing lingering later on.”

As for whether he should have played in the All-Star Game, Aldridge said the combination of having a few days off before the game and the lackadaisical nature of the exhibition left him with no regrets about playing in New Orleans.

“I had just played in that back-to-back and I was fine, maybe a little sore,” said Aldridge. “I had two or three days to rest going into that game and I played like 14, 15 minutes, so it wasn’t like it was highly competitive game.”

The Trail Blazers will have to make some serious adjustments with Aldridge joining Meyers Leonard (left ankle sprain) and Joel Freeland (right MCL sprain) on the bench, but Aldridge thinks his team is up to the task.

“I think guys are going to step up,” said Aldridge. “We have a lot of guys that’s been wanting an opportunity, a lot of guys that can take their games to the next level and have a bigger role. I think guys are going to play well.”

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Aldridge On Sitting Out A Week: 'Just trying to make sure it's nothing lingering later on'

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

LaMarcus Aldridge took questions from the media prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Spur at the Moda Center regarding the left groin strain that will keep him sidelined for at least the next week. Aldridge said that the groin had been nagging at him for a while, and that he and the team came to the conclusion that trying to get healthy now was the best approach.

“We’re just being cautious right now,” said Aldridge. “We all talked about it and I think it’s just the best thing to do right now.”

The 6-11 power forward said that, while he’s been feeling discomfort in his groin since at least Feb. 8, the pain never got to the level where he felt as though he needed to sit out, at least a full game.

“Really didn’t start feeling it until maybe Minnesota game, but it wasn’t really bad ever,” said Aldridge. “Then it was just kind of nagging. It gets worse at night after I play. We just looked at it and (rest) is what we’re going to do.”

Aldridge said that he can’t run and jump for at least a week, which is when he’ll be reevaluated. While there’s no guarantee he’ll be cleared to play when he’s checked out again on Tuesday, he said he doesn’t think the injury is all that bad, as he was able to play in back-to-back games before the All-Star break.

“If I could play these last two games (versus the Thunder and Clippers) then maybe,” said Aldridge when asked if he was worried about the injury being more serious, “but not now. I played in those games and it’s just trying to make sure it’s nothing lingering later on.”

As for whether he should have played in the All-Star Game, Aldridge said the combination of having a few days off before the game and the lackadaisical nature of the exhibition left him with no regrets about playing in New Orleans.

“I had just played in that back-to-back and I was fine, maybe a little sore,” said Aldridge. “I had two or three days to rest going into that game and I played like 14, 15 minutes, so it wasn’t like it was highly competitive game.”

The Trail Blazers will have to make some serious adjustments with Aldridge joining Meyers Leonard (left ankle sprain) and Joel Freeland (right MCL sprain) on the bench, but Aldridge thinks his team is up to the task.

“I think guys are going to step up,” said Aldridge. “We have a lot of guys that’s been wanting an opportunity, a lot of guys that can take their games to the next level and have a bigger role. I think guys are going to play well.”

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