Damian Lillard is out for at least 6 weeks after surgery

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard underwent surgery to repair a core injury that has left him with a stomach ache this season.

He will be evaluated in six weeks but there is no timeline for his return, the Trail Blazers said Thursday.

Lillard, a six-time All-Star, has missed five games since the beginning of the year and 11 games this season due to abdominal tendinopathy. He said the injury flared up during the Tokyo Olympics.

“It wasn’t easy at all because I just love being out there. I love playing out there,” Lillard said in a story posted to the Blazers’ official website. “I was always ready to play, but I think the older you get the more experience you have, not just in sport but in life, and it becomes more important to play chess. My pride might say, “Keep fighting, do the job again. Try to get into the playoffs.’ And then my older self says, ‘You can’t do any of this unless you’re at your best.’”

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Lillard has averaged 24 points and 7.3 assists in 29 games for the Blazers this season. Anfernee Simons started in his absence.

The procedure was performed in Philadelphia at the Vincera Institute.

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