PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard said after practice Thursday that he expects to miss the next three to five games because of his right groin strain.

Lillard injured his groin during the Blazers' final game before the All-Star break. He didn't take part in Thursday's practice, Portland's first since the break.

"I'm sore as hell, but I got to take time off to let it heal completely," Lillard said. "Once that happens, I'll be back out there."

Lillard said he can't wait to get back on the court. He knows what's at stake with the Blazers four games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies with 26 games left to play.

"I want these games to hurry up and just fly by, so I can see where we are going to be and what needs to be done to get into the playoffs," Lillard said of the games he'll miss to injury. "This is it. It's all or nothing. It's 26 games and we need 16-20 of them. We've got to want it more than the other teams."

The Blazers play the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. Here's a look at the team's next five games:

  • Friday, Feb. 21: vs. New Orleans Pelicans (23-32), 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 23: vs. Detroit Pistons (19-38), 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25: vs. Boston Celtics (38-16), 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 27: at Indiana Pacers (32-23), 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 29: at Atlanta Hawks (15-41), 4:30 p.m.

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Jared Cowley writes about the Trail Blazers and other topics for KGW.com and is the co-host of KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers podcast. Have questions or comments for the 3-on-3 Blazers team? Email them here. 

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