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LaMarcus Aldridge: Return 'wasn't a one-game thing'

Portland Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge said his return after deciding to put off thumb surgery "wasn't a one-game thing."
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Portland Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge said his return after deciding to postpone thumb surgery "wasn't a one-game thing," according to USA TODAY Sports.

Aldridge said he had an appointment scheduled for Tuesday to repair a ligament in his left (non-shooting) thumb before deciding to play in Saturday's game vs. the Washington Wizards. The Trail Blazers won 103-96 and Aldridge played 36 minutes, scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

The Trail Blazers were scheduled to play the Nets in Brooklyn on Monday before the game was postponed.

"This wasn't a one-game thing," Aldridge said. "Once I said I was going to try, then I was back. And if it became too much, then I was going to have surgery. ... So as of now, I'm back. But if I get it whacked or if something happens where I can't tolerate it and I'm not playing at a good enough level to help the team, then I'll have surgery. But as of now, I think they have done a good job of protecting it, so I'm back for the season and then I'll just have surgery in the offseason."

Portland entered Tuesday 32-13, third in the Western Conference. This week includes road games against the Cleveland Cavaliers (25-20) and Atlanta Hawks (37-8).

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Aldridge, 29, leads the Trail Blazers with 23.3 points per game -- a career-high -- and 10.2 rebounds per game. He will enter unrestricted free agency after this season, but has repeatedly indicated he would like to remain in Portland.

Aldridge suffered the injury in a Jan. 19 win over the Sacramento Kings and sat out the Trail Blazers' next two games, losses to the Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics.

Mike Fiammetta