The Portland Trail Blazers began the post-Damian Lillard era with a 12-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. To make matter worse, they lost one of their young stars in Anfernee Simons due to a thumb injury.

On Friday afternoon ahead of their game against the Orlando Magic, the Blazers announced that Simons suffered a torn UCL in his right thumb and will miss 4-to-6 weeks after he has surgery to repair the ligament.

Simons, 24, was one of the breakout starts of the 2022-23 season for the Blazers and was expected to be their young leader in the backcourt alongside rookie Scoot Henderson this season.

In 62 total games with the Blazers a season ago, Simons averaged a career-high 21.1 points and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 37.7 percent from three-point range. His 3.4 made threes per game averaged ranked fifth in the league behind only Donovan Mitchell, Buddy Hield, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson.

Simons played a total of 27 minutes against the Clippers in the season opener, recording 18 points and four assists.

In wake of Simons' absence due to his pending thumb surgery, more pressure will be put on Henderson. Drafted third overall by the Blazers this season, Scoot is a Rookie of the Year candidate that will now take over as the lead guard in Portland's backcourt. Veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon, the 2022-23 Sixth Man of the Year, will also see his role elevated, as will 2022 first-round pick Shaedon Sharpe.

The Blazers now face a scenario in which they will be without Anfernee Simons for the next handful of weeks, as he will miss at least the next 17 games through the month of November.