Updates from Saturday, March 1
CSNNW's Chris Haynes reports that Aldridge will return for Saturday night's game vs. the Nuggets:
Updates from Wednesday, Feb. 18
Erik Gundersen of The Columbian and Joe Freeman of The Oregonian provided the latest information regarding LaMarcus Aldridge's status, and his thoughts on the groin injury:
The Portland Trail Blazers have yet to play a game since the recent NBA All-Star break, but one of their key cornerstones who featured in the league's elite exhibition this past weekend will be out of the lineup when they do.
Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge has a groin injury that will keep him out for a week, and he will be re-evaluated thereafter, according to the team's official Twitter account:
Head coach Terry Stotts said that Aldridge was having his groin examined by a doctor, which explains his absence from Tuesday's practice, per the Columbian's Erik Gunderson:
Aldridge didn't play quite to his high standards in 13 minutes in the NBA All-Star Game, making just two of his nine shots from the field in the West's 163-155 loss to the East.
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reported on the matter on Tuesday, noting that Aldridge has dealt with the nagging ailment since before the All-Star break. It caused him to miss the last minute and 25 seconds of a Feb. 8 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and has impacted him since then.
In spite of that, Aldridge has teamed with second-year point guard Damian Lillard to key a massive turnaround in Portland this season, as the Blazers have a 36-17 record. Even in the stacked Western Conference, the duo has managed to lift Portland into the thick of playoff contention.
The effort has been aided by strong continuity, though, as Aldridge's absence will mark the first time all season the Blazers haven't had the same starting lineup, per ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh:
During All-Star weekend, Aldridge said that several players approached him about joining him in Portland to build a true powerhouse.
"Definitely a few guys have told me that this weekend," said Aldridge, per CSNNW.com's Chris Haynes.
Portland certainly wishes some of those stars would join Aldridge now, especially if he misses extended time.
This Blazers have been one of the better stories in the 2013-14 campaign, thanks to Aldridge's brilliance and Lillard solidifying the point guard position in a league that's deep at that spot. The production Aldridge brings every night will be difficult to replace, especially with Meyers Leonard also getting hurt as a potential player to step up big in Aldridge's stead.
It remains to be seen precisely how long Aldridge will be out, but it's discouraging that he's been saddled with this groin injury for some time and is just now sitting out to address it. Hopefully he's able to return to the floor soon to keep the Blazers' momentum going. Otherwise, the squad could be in danger of slipping in the second half of the season.