The Trail Blazers could be without one of their star players when Portland takes the court for the Western Conference semifinals.
Center Enes Kanter revealed Friday he is dealing with a separated left shoulder and his status for the next series is uncertain.
“I think the Blazers are doing a very good job taking care of it. But, obviously, I’m not going to lie, it hurts pretty bad,” Kanter said, via ESPN. “I’m having a hard time changing my shirt or eating food. So it’s a process. We’re just taking it day by day, see how it feels.”
Kanter said he suffered the injury Tuesday during Portland’s 118-115 win in Game 5 against the Thunder. He still played 32 minutes and finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds as the series ended.
“They just said it’s a separation, it’s normally around a month to just heal it,” Kanter added. “But you don’t have a month to take off, so I’m just going to push through it.”
Kanter explained that the team’s trainers are concerned that if he keeps playing through the pain, it could cause further damage.
Portland returned to practice Friday as the team waits to find out whom it will play in the conference semifinals. Blazers coach Terry Stotts indicated there is optimism Kanter will play Game 1 because of their extended break, but he said they will have to wait until closer to game time to make a decision.
“I know it’s too early,” Stotts said. “The good thing is we don’t play until Monday, so we don’t really have to make any decisions until then. So we’re hopeful.”
Kanter has made an impact with the Trail Blazers during his short time in Portland, which started in February after he was waived by the Knicks. He averaged 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds and made eight starts for the Blazers to close out the season.
Portland will play the winner of the Nuggets-Spurs series, which will be decided in Game 7 on Saturday in Denver (10 p.m. ET, ABC).