The Blazers announced Thursday that LaMarcus Aldridge will undergo surgery to repair a torn radial collateral ligament in his left thumb. The three-time All-Star power forward is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
A six-week recovery timeline would sideline him until March 5, a span of 18 games. An eight-week timeline would sideline him until March 19, a span of 24 games.
Aldridge, 29, sustained the injury while swiping down to steal the ball from DeMarcus Cousins during the first quarter of Portland's 98-94 home victory over Sacramento on Monday. He remained in the game until the 10:26 mark of the second quarter before departing to the locker room with the team's training staff. He did not return to the game and finished with 10 points and one rebound in 14 minutes.
Initial X-rays on Aldridge's hand came back negative, but he did not travel with the Blazers to Phoenix for a Wednesday night against the Suns.
Portland (31-12) possesses the West's second-best record despite recent injuries to starting center Robin Lopez (hand) and back-up big man Joel Freeland (shoulder). Coach Terry Stotts will be forced to scrape together a frontcourt rotation that includes Chris Kaman, Meyers Leonard, Thomas Robinson and Dorell Wright.
Aldridge, a 2014 All-NBA Third Team selection who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is leading Portland in scoring and rebounding, averaging 23.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
SI.com recently tabbed Aldridge to fill one of the West's starting spots in next month's All-Star Game, but he was not selected as a starter by the fan vote. Aldridge could still be selected as a Western Conference reserve by a coaches' vote. If Aldridge is selected and is unable to play in next month's All-Star Game, NBA commissioner Adam Silver would then appoint an injury replacement.