LaMarcus Aldridge will play on Saturday night for the Portland Trail Blazers despite having a ligament tear in his thumb, the franchise announced. Aldridge suffered the injury against the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 19 and had an MRI. It was originally inconclusive because of swelling so he had to have it redone. When the results came back indicating a ligament tear, the timeline for his return was set to be six to eight weeks after surgery. Aldridge has apparently decided to play through the pain and will suit up against the Wizards.
The Trail Blazers were already shorthanded after losing Robin Lopez to a hand injury, so Aldridge playing is huge for their chances of holding on to the third seed in the Western Conference, specially after the team suffered two consecutive losses in his absence. His decision is surprising because, according to general manager Neil Olshey, Aldridge was already wearing a cast. Aldridge came to this decision on his own, reports Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, which should ease suspicions about pressure from the franchise to put off surgery.
Aldridge is leading his team in scoring and rebounding with 23.2 points and 10.2 rebounds for the season.
We'll update as the story develops.