Since Trail Blazers PG Damian Lillard dislocated his left index finger late in the third quarter of Game 2 Thursday night and the x-rays came back negative, all of Rip City has been holding its breath.
Friday before the Trail Blazers workout began in Orlando, head coach Terry Stotts gave the latest update on his point guard's status. Stotts said, "he's getting treatments today… Multiple treatments throughout the day. I believe he'll be wearing a splint, but he will play."
Lillard already told the media that he would be playing in Game 3 during his postgame remarks Thursday night, saying, "It's just sore. A little bit tender to the touch. A little bit swollen and uncomfortable... Oh, I'm playing."
While Friday, Coach Stotts said what all of Rip City was thinking:
I totally anticipated unless it was a broken finger and even then that [he'd play]. Dame has played through a lot of injuries and this being the playoffs, I don't think it surprised anybody, but certainly it sets the tone for the rest of the team.
It was at the 1:44 mark of the third quarter when Anthony Davis made his move to the basket while Lillard tried to poke the ball out from behind. After Lillard's left hand swiped at the ball, it looked as though it caught the right foot of Davis, even though postgame, Lillard said he wasn't sure exactly what happened.
Damian Lillard appears to injure left index finger, heads back to locker room. pic.twitter.com/xZJvSx9QmO— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) August 21, 2020
The good news for Lillard and the Blazers is that the dislocated finger is on his non-shooting hand.
The Trail Blazers All-Star point guard mentioned after Thursday's blowout loss to the Lakers that he had never dislocated a finger before.
But just as Coach Stotts referenced Lillard has played through pain before, there have also been plenty of professional athletes who have returned to play in the very next game or even the same game that they suffered a dislocated finger.
The 76ers center did say he felt like he was "basically playing with one hand" after the injury and that it felt "pretty bad," but he was able to be out there for his team.
We'll see if Lillard does play with a splint on his left index finger and how that may affect him, but there's no surprise here that he'll be out on the court Saturday.
[Listen to the Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Tristan Thompson]: