Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard is feeling “100% healthy” and as strong as he’s ever felt, according to comments made to Orlando Sanchez of KGW Sports. Lillard spent most of the 2021-22 NBA season rehabbing from abdominal surgery, correcting a chronic injury that had plagued him at a low level for years.
Today, Sanchez posted a video interview with Lillard on Twitter. In, Lillard described the nature of his rehab, the ways in which the injury had bothered him, and his new approach to the coming season.
“I didn’t realize how bad it was because I had been dealing with it for 4 1/2 years”
Damian Lillard says swelling was the size of a baseball after games. After ab surgery, he’s been able to “build himself up from scratch”
—Orlando Sanchez (@orlandokgw) July 20, 2022
Here’s the transcript of Lillard’s video comments:
I feel great. Even when, right after surgery, it was like I had surgery at 6 AM on January 13th and then 6 AM on January 14th I was literally doing rehab in Philly, doing yoga. It was aggressive. Even when I was a little uncomfortable, they were like, “Just do it.” And I’m one of those people, if that’s the instructions you’re giving me, I’m going to do it. And if something goes wrong, I’m going to tell you, but if this is what you say is going to work, let’s do it. And I went at it aggressive. And after I would say a month and a half, I started to feel a lot better. And I thought I was back. I was like, “A month and a half, I’m back. I don’t feel nothing.”
But then fast-forward to four months and I could just feel in my movement, “Man, I didn’t even ealize how bad it was. Because I had been dealing with it for four and a half years. And it was getting worse and worse, but I was still able to have 50 on a night. Or I was still able to move kind of well some nights. And it would be after the game, I would go home and I would have a bulge, over my pubic area, and it would be like a baseball was under there…that type of swelling. By the time I’d wake up, it would go down. And then the next day it would do it again.
I was just fighting through it. So to wake up every day and be able to work out, to do some conditioning, then go home and feel good and be strong and build myself back up from scratch. I haven’t just done rehab on my surgery. It’s been other things that I’ve been dealing with as well, where I’ve been able to correct those things and put a real plan together. And put a team of PT and strength and conditioning and basketball and speed and agility and sports science…put a team of people together where everything isn’t just hard, hard, hard. Today is a medium day, today is a light day, take this day off.
So it’s gotten me to the point where I really feel as strong as I’ve ever felt. I feel healthy. 100% healthy. I feel strong.