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PORTLAND The Portland Trail Blazers will take on the Los Angeles Clippers Monday for the 2013 preseason opener, but without many key players.

The Blazers are set to host the Clippers at 7 p.m. at the Moda Center, but five players won t be touching the ball due to injuries.

All-star forward La Marcus Aldridge is out with a hip strain, as is top draft pick C.J. McCollum, who fractured his foot. Mo Williams, Dorell Wright, and Earl Watson are also injured.

According to Blazers blog Forwardcenter.net, fans should see Damian Lillard start at pointguard alongside Wesley Matthews.

Lillard said even though this is just the preseason opener, he is eagerly anticipating tonight s game.

It does feel the same, it s just that the regular season counts, Lillard told Forwardcenter.net. You get jacked up for it and you re excited because it s like the Welcome Back game.

Related: Blazers say Aldridge has left hip injury

Blazers rookie McCollum fractures foot

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