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Wesley Matthews ruptures Achilles

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Trail Blazers starter Wesley Matthewstore his left Achilles tendon Thursday night and will miss the rest of the season, the team announced.

“It’s disbelief, you know?” he told reporters after an MRI confirmed the rupture. “I’m sitting up there in that tube having an MRI, and I don’t hear noise, I don’t feel my Achilles, I’m just … . I can’t believe I’m up there while my team’s battling. I just haven’t processed all of it yet.”

Matthews said he’ll have to have surgery, but it has not been scheduled.

Matthews had to be helped off the court after suffering the injury in the Trail Blazers’ 94-75 win over the Dallas Mavericks. He had four points, one rebound and three assists in 18 minutes before exiting.

He went down without contact when he attempted to drive two minutes into the third quarter. He immediately reached for his left Achilles as he grimaced in pain.

“I’ve made that same cut hundreds of thousands of times in my life,” he said. “I felt the initial pop, and I think you guys could tell on the replay, I looked back, and it feels like someone kicked you. I was praying that someone was back there. No one was back there, and I heard Ron [Garretson], the ref, he actually says, ‘Oh no’ like he knew.”

The mood was somber in the Trail Blazers’ locker room as Matthews’ teammates lamented the loss of the player fans call “Iron Man” for his toughness.

“It’s tough, man. He’s the heart and soul of this team; he brings a lot to this team,” LaMarcus Aldridge said. “I’ve played with him seven, eight years now, so not having him out there is going to be tough.”

Added Damian Lillard: “Wes plays harder than anybody on our team. It’s hard for our team to think about not having him out there because of everything he brings to this team and the person that he is.”

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