Damian Lillard leaves bubble to get treatment on injured knee

Damian Lillard, already announced as out for the Game 5 that was not played Wednesday, is now out for much longer.

Lillard has left the NBA’s restart bubble in Orlando to get treatment for a sprained right knee suffered in Game 4 of the Portland series against the L.A. Lakers.

Damian Lillard will leave the NBA campus in Orlando on Thursday & return to Portland for further examination of his injured right knee. Lillard’s availability to return to the Orlando campus is yet to be determined. Further updates will be provided as necessary.

It’s unlikely Damian Lillard returns to Orlando, if there are even games to return to.

It ends what was an incredible run by Lillard through the bubble — he was the seeding games MVP. Lillard led the seeding games in scoring at 37.6 points per game, but what won him the MVP was his performance in the final three games when his team needed it to qualify for the play-in — 61 points, then 51, then 42. Lillard was the emotional leader who set the tone for his team and refused to let them lose.

He carried that over to Game 1 of the series against the Lakers, when he was dancing his way to an upset of the top seed.

Lillard’s injury occurred when he pulled up on a drive during the third quarter of the Trail Blazers’ blow-out loss to the Lakers Monday and soon asked out of the game. By the fourth quarter he was having an MRI on his right knee, with another to follow the next day. Soon he was ruled out for the Game 5 that ultimately was not played.

Lillard should be healthy and ready to go next season. Whenever that is.