Blazers lose post presence with Ed Davis needing season-ending shoulder surgery
This isn't great timing, as Portland is trying to make a playoff push
Portland Trail Blazers big man Ed Davis will have season-ending left shoulder surgery next Tuesday to repair an injured labrum, the team announced on Thursday. Davis originally injured his shoulder last season, but he told reporters that it was aggravated in a collision with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid on Jan. 20, per The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman. He added that, as a left-handed player, it’s tough to play through this particular injury. Davis appeared in five games after colliding with Embiid.
In Davis’ absence, the Blazers have been using a frontcourt rotation of Jusuf Nurkic, Noah Vonleh, Al-Farouq Aminu and Meyers Leonard. Maurice Harkless, who starts at small forward, is interchangeable with Aminu when they share the floor. They will miss Davis’ rebounding, shot-blocking, and finishing around the basket, but, likely due to the injury, he has been a little worse than normal in all those areas this season.
Portland is 25-35 and in ninth place in the Western Conference, 2.5 games back of the eighth-place Denver Nuggets. It is now without Davis and center Festus Ezeli, who has yet to play a game and is sidelined for the rest of the year because of a knee injury. This is far from ideal, but if there is a silver lining, it is that there’s an opportunity for Nurkic and Vonleh to establish themselves.
Davis, 27, played arguably the best basketball of his career last season when the Blazers shockingly earn the fifth seed and advanced to the second round. Next season will be a contract year, and his top priority must be getting healthy to try to build on that.
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