LaMarcus Aldridge Makes Surprise Return on Saturday
Portland’s season might have been over. With news breaking only a couple of days ago that star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge had a tear in his thumb that would require surgery, that was the over-whelming sentiment across the NBA.
Then he decided to put the team before his own well being. Per reports, Aldridge delayed a surgery that would keep him out for 6-8 weeks, and will instead try to play through the pain. Aldridge is said to have tested his thumb by himself and felt he could manage the pain and still be an effective player for the 31-13 Blazers.
Aldridge missed the last two games (both Portland losses) after exiting a contest in the first half with the initial injury. Luckily the tear is to the thumb on Aldridge’s non-shooting hand, and the star forward feels he may be able to continue playing provided he can work through the pain.
There are no guarantees with ‘Ridge’ trying to keep himself available to the team, but it’s fairly remarkable that he’s even trying to do it. Ridge noted that he didn’t feel good about bailing on such a “good season”, in which the Blazers have a stranglehold over the Western Conference’s Northwest division.
Without Aldridge, Portland could have been in major trouble. We were already getting a good idea of what life without their best player would be like via their two straight losses (including one at home), but the team also lost Nicolas Batm (wrist) in their latest contest.
Already dealing with injuries to centers Robin Lopez and Joel Freeland, the Blazers were operating with fewer bodies and not having Aldridge to help shoulder the scoring load put the losses over the top.
There’s no guarantee that Ridge will last more than Saturday night’s game or that his heroic effort will lead to a run to the NBA Finals. All fans and NBA bettors know is that he gives Portland a real chance every time he’s healthy enough to take the floor and that their odds of winning would dip severely if he wasn’t around.
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