Portland guard Lillard sidelined by abdominal strain

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Portland's Damian Lillard, seen here in a game against the Washington Wizards, will miss at least one NBA contest with an abdominal strain

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard was ruled out of Thursday's NBA road game against the Philadelphia 76ers with an abdominal strain.

The loss of the five-time All-Star -- who is averaging 29.1 points, 7.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game this season -- is another blow for the injury-ravaged Blazers, who were already missing CJ McCollum with a broken left foot, Jusuf Nurkic with a right wrist injury and Zach Collins with a left ankle injury.

It wasn't clear how long Lillard might be sidelined.

With the team battling numerous injuries, Lillard played through the setback in Portland's 132-121 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

"It just locks up, tightens up and it's hard to move," Lillard said of the abdominal issue that has troubled him before.

He still managed to play almost 40 minutes, scoring 32 points with eight assists.

Lillard said he usually manages to work through the injury in the pre-season.

He had hoped that extra work after the Trail Blazers were done in the NBA's coronavirus bubble late last season would head off trouble.

But in a January 25 game against Oklahoma City, Lillard said he braced himself when he took contact from another player.

"Each game after that, it has been getting irritated," Lillard said.

Lillard, who ranks third in scoring in the Western Conference, was third in early fan All-Star voting announced Thursday for Western Conference backcourt players behind Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic.

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