- Head Athletic Trainer: Geoff Clark (Three Years as Head AT)
- Total Games Lost to Injury Since the 2005-06 Season: 1848 (27th in the league)
- Total Cost for Games Lost to Injury Since the 2005-06 Season: $122.0 million (23rd)
- 2013-14 Games Missed Due to Injury: 133(15th)
- 2013-14 Cost of Games Missed Due to Injury: $9.7 million (15th)
- Best Finish in Games Missed Ranks: 4 (2013-14)
- Worst Finish in Games Missed Ranks: 29 (2009-10)
After years of watching would-be stars like Greg Oden and Brandon Roy succumb to injury, the Trail Blazers turned a corner in the 2013-14 season behind the hard work of new head athletic trainer Geoff Clark and Director of Player Health and Performance Dr. Chris Stackpole. The success carried over into the duo’s second year with the team before an onslaught of unpredictable injuries ultimately derailed Portland’s season. It started in late November when reserve guard CJ McCollum fractured his right index finger. Less than a month later starter Robin Lopez broke two bones in his hand. Shortly thereafter LaMarcus Aldridge suffered a thumb injury that ultimately required surgery. The final blow came in early March when Wesley Matthews, a resilient player that had earned the nickname Iron Man, ruptured his Achilles ending his season and tenure with the team.
However a majority of these injuries, particularly those to the hand and thumb, are difficult to prepare for and there is likely little the medical staff could have done to prevent them from occurring. The fact the Blazers still finished below the league average for missed games despite the overwhelming number of incidences is a good sign the medical team remains a top-tiered staff.
Portland’s roster radically changed in the offseason with a majority of the core relocating to other teams. Now with Damian Lillard as the linchpin of a youthful nucleus, Stackpole and company will look to keep the younger squad healthy by making health and wellness a priority. Managing Gerald Henderson’s chronically injured hip is the most glaring task at the moment but there should be plenty of confidence in Portland’s ability to handle the job.