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Lillard out of All-Star Weekend after suffering right groin strain

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard suffered a right groin strain in the second half of Portland’s 111-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday and will undergo an MRI on Thursday, coach Terry Stotts said.

After the game, Lillard said he will not compete in the All-Star Game or the 3-point contest because of the injury.

“Obviously, that’s something you look forward to,” Lillard said. “Those festivities and having fun, but my health is first.”

Lillard was slated to play Sunday for Team LeBron after Saturday’s 3-point contest. He said he would still attend the game and be part of the weekend but won’t be able to play.

Damian Lillard says he’s disappointed to miss the All-Star game but knows his health comes first as the Trail Blazers try to make a push to the postseason.

The league has yet to name Lillard’s replacements.

“Hopefully somebody who should have been there that didn’t make it, but unfortunately I had to be the fall guy,” Lillard said. “But hopefully Devin Booker, someone like that, will get the spot.”

Lillard appeared to suffer the injury on a drive to the basket with 3:22 left in the game. He attempted a tough shot around Memphis big man Jonas Valanciunas, then landed awkwardly.

He went directly to the locker room and didn’t return, finishing with 20 points in 40 minutes.

“I don’t think it makes sense to try and force myself to be out there and doing stuff just so I can not miss out on it,” Lillard said. “I’ve been there, I’ve done it all before, and I’m sure I’ll have more opportunities to do it, but I wanna make sure that I’m healthy so that when the break is over, I’m rested and have done all I can do to be ready as soon as possible.”

Due to the All-Star break, Portland doesn’t play again until Feb. 21 against the Pelicans.

Courtesy: ESPN.com

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