CJ McCollum Hopes Return to Trail Blazers ‘Sooner than Later’
CJ McCollum has missed just over eight weeks, but he’s hoping to be back soon, according to The Athletic’s Jason Quick.
The last game he played, Jan. 16 against Atlanta, McCollum broke his left foot.
“I’m coming off my third fracture. I have to be smart and patient,” he told Quick.
The 29-year-old broke the same foot his senior year at Lehigh and again in training camp before his rookie season in Portland.
McCollum worked out on Friday in Minnesota, and he said the workout “went well” and “how I expected it to go.”
The two key factors are, 1) how the foot responds and 2) McCollum regaining stamina.
“I needed to see how my foot would respond to contact,” McCollum said. “People assume you get cleared and just go back to playing, not realizing I couldn’t run for seven weeks. Conditioning comes from playing. I can’t just run on the treadmill or bike and simulate the force you put through your foot and body.”
Before the injury, McCollum was setting career highs in points (26.1), assists (5.0) and steals (1.3) per game. He also was shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 44.1 percent from deep.
Portland has gone 14-10 since their starting shooting guard went down. Gary Trent Jr. has filled in admirably with 15.2 points per game.
Up next the Trail Blazers are at home for five games, which starts with a pair of games against New Orleans on Tuesday (March 16) and Thursday (March 18).
Portland then wraps up their homestand with two games against Dallas (Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20) and one with Brooklyn (Tuesday, March 23).
Finally, the team hits the road for a four-game road trip starting in Miami on March 25. So, maybe we’ll see McCollum before or on the road trip.