Damian Lillard injury updates: Latest news on Bucks star’s status in playoff series vs. Pacers

The Bucks had another injury scare in Game 3 — this time to star guard Damian Lillard.

Milwaukee is already without superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has missed the first three games of the 2024 NBA Playoffs with a lingering calf injury. Antetokounmpo is not expected to return until “later in the series” at the earliest, meaning responsibility fell on Lillard’s shoulders to fill the franchise player’s shoes.

Lillard did his part in the first two games, averaging 34.5 points to even the series with the Pacers at 1-1. He didn’t get much of a runway to continue that trend Friday, suffering an Achilles injury in the first quarter.

While Lillard returned before the end of the first half, he appeared hobbled down the stretch as Milwaukee lost Game 3 in overtime at the hands of a Tyrese Haliburton game-winner.

How serious was Lillard’s injury and will it affect his availability moving forward? The Sporting News has you covered with the latest updates below.

What is Damian Lillard’s injury?

Lillard appeared to tweak his ankle early in Game 3, but Bucks coach Doc Rivers later clarified that Lillard is dealing with an Achilles issue. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Saturday that Lillard sustained a strained Achilles and noted he is in a walking boot.

Lillard drove the lane for a layup and Pacers forward Pascal Siakam stepped on his foot trying to block Lillard’s shot as he landed.

Lillard hobbled to the bench at first, then briefly went to the locker room. Despite returning to the game, it was Khris Middleton who ascended to the role of the Bucks’ go-to scorer down the stretch. 

Rivers said after the game that Lillard “was really struggling” with his lower leg, even adding that Lillard told him he wasn’t capable of being anything more than a decoy in overtime. The Bucks would lose despite Middleton’s scoring explosion.

Lillard finished the contest, a 121-118 Bucks loss, with 28 points. He played 45 minutes.

How long is Damian Lillard out?

Lillard has been ruled out for Game 4 due to a Grade 1 Achilles strain.

The Bucks are dealing with a multitude of injuries, as Giannis Antetokoumpo’s return date remains uncertain with a calf injury while Middleton has been playing through an ankle injury. Milwaukee still needs to win three more games to advance.

Bucks vs. Pacers playoff schedule

The Bucks trail the Pacers 2-1 in the series after dropping Game 3.

You can find the rest of the series schedule below.

Date Game Location/Result Time (ET) TV Channel
April 21 Game 1 Bucks 109, Pacers 94
April 24 Game 2 Pacers 125, Bucks 108
April 26 Game 3 Pacers 121, Bucks 118
April 28 Game 4 at Indiana 7 p.m. TNT
April 30 Game 5 at Milwaukee TBD TBD
May 2 Game 6 at Indiana TBD TBD
May 4 Game 7 at Milwaukee TBD TBD


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