Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups admitted that he wasn't certain how much time Lillard (abdomen) might miss after the point guard sat out Monday's 136-131 win over the Hawks, Jay Allen of NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 reports. "That thing has been up and down...we'll probably know more sooner than later," Billups said of Lillard's injury.

Portland has been classifying Lillard's injury as lower abdominal tendinopathy, with the same issue keeping him sidelined for five consecutive games from Nov. 30 through Dec. 8. According to Scott Rafferty of NBA.com, Lillard told Portland media earlier this season that he's been playing through the injury "for a few years now." Additional reports have suggested that Lillard contended with the issue while playing with Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo a couple months before the season, and the 31-year-old acknowledged he "irritated" the injury in a Nov. 3 loss to Cleveland. Given the recurring nature of his injury, along with the fact that the Trail Blazers are off to a 14-22 start to the season, the organization could have some incentive to take a cautious approach with bringing Lillard back. In that scenario, Anfernee Simons -- who popped for a career-high 43 points Monday -- could continue to serve as Portland's primary playmaker out of the backcourt, at least until either Lillard or CJ McCollum (lung) is cleared to play. For now, Lillard should be viewed as questionable ahead of the Blazers' next game Wednesday versus the Heat.

More News