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The Portland Trail Blazers have been dealt a massive blow with the news that power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be sidelined for between six and eight weeks.
Aldridge suffered a torn radial collateral ligament in his left thumb after his hand came down on the knee of Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins in the second quarter of the Blazers’ win on Monday night.
“I’ve definitely sprained my thumb a few times, but this was on a different level,” Aldridge said. “I couldn’t even move it.”
The forward had X-rays immediately after the game but they were inconclusive and so Aldridge was only made aware of the extent of the damage following an MRI scan on Thursday which revealed the tear.
Aldridge leads Portland with averages of 23.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, and he will naturally be a significant loss for the team with point guard Damian Lillard conceding that it was difficult news to hear.
It is another injury blow for the Blazers who are already without Robin Lopez and Joel Freeland in their frontcourt, while small forward Nicolas Batum left Thursday’s game against the Boston Celtics after he aggravated a wrist injury that had been bothering him.
Batum is scheduled to have an MRI scan in the coming days and Portland will be desperate for good news as they could risk losing their high seeding in the absence of key players.
“It’s tough, we’ve been in a pretty good rhythm most of the season,” Aldridge said.
“We’ve lost guys a lot this season — this is a totally different season from last year — but we have a lot of guys here who can step up and play better, and make plays. So I think the team shouldn’t stall, we’re going to get guys back soon, so that should be good for us.”
Aldridge added that he will have surgery within the week after it was agreed that it was the best course of action instead of risking doing further damage.