Bucks Star Damian Lillard Gives Concerning Injury Update After Game 3 Loss

Bucks star Damian Lillard

Getty Damian Lillard #0 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts after being injured in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers.

Milwaukee Bucks All-Star point guard Damian Lillard plans to play in Game 4 despite hurting his knee and re-aggravating his Achilles tendon. But whether his body would cooperate is the biggest question looming as the Bucks try to avoid a 3-1 hole.

“I think tonight, it was just so fresh, just re-aggravated after having a whole week where you could kind of get it together,” Lillard told reporters after the Bucks’ heartbreaking 121-118 overtime loss in Game 3 on April 26. “But I just wanted to be on the floor in case some opportunity came up or however I could help. But obviously tonight, we’re gonna get back and just have to get ahead of it because that’s not something you want to play with.

“It’s one of those spots on your body where you literally can’t do nothing about it. If you can’t move, you can’t move. So we got a couple days, tonight, to start to try to get ahead of it and just get it feeling better, try to get ready for Sunday.”

Lillard crumpled into the floor late in the first quarter when he twisted his knee after Pacers forward Pascal Siakam landed on the Bucks star’s ankle. Lillard hobbled in pain and limped to the locker room.

But Lillard returned and although he felt uncomfortable, he still mustered 14 points in the next two quarters. He finished with 28 points on a rough 6 of 20 shooting night.

“When I went out there, I knew it was gonna be a little uncomfortable but I didn’t feel like I was putting myself in danger,” Lillard said.

Then came another tough blow.

Late in the fourth quarter, Lillard tweaked his Achilles.

Damian Lillard Stayed as Decoy

After scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter, Lillard never attempted in overtime with limited mobility.

“Honestly, Dame was really struggling,” Bucks coach Doc Rivers told reporters afterward. “In the overtime, he literally said, ‘I’ll be the decoy. I just can’t go as far as explosion.’ So I thought Dame just being out there was huge for us.”

The ploy worked briefly.

With Lillard on the floor, Khris Middleton made the wild game-tying 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime. And in the overtime, Lillard set up Middleton for another 3-pointer that tied the game for the final time with 8 seconds left.

Pacers’ All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton responded with the game-winning 3-point play that served as a double whammy for Lillard and the Bucks.

Now comes the tough decision.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo still on the shelf, will Lillard and the Bucks risk further injury in a must-win Game 4?

Walking Wounded

Middleton was questionable to play in Game after he sprained his ankle in Game 2. But with so much stake on the line, Middleton went on to play with a bum ankle and scored a playoff career-high 42 points in 41 minutes.

The Bucks might have to rely heavily on Middleton again in Game 4 with Lillard’s playing status uncertain and Antetokounmpo still out indefinitely with a calf strain.

“We are just taking a lot of hits right now as far as injury-wise,” Rivers told reporters.

Asked if the Game 3 result would influence Antetokounmpo to return to practice, Rivers quickly shut it down.

“We’re not going to rush anybody back,” Rivers told reporters. “It’s too dangerous to do that.”