- Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum will miss at least four weeks with a fractured foot.
- McCollum is averaging a career-best 26.7 points per game this season prior to his injury.
- The Blazers have the 3rd best odds to win the Northwest Division at +350 and are 8th in the Western Conference Oddsboard at +2000.
The injury bug continues to bite the Portland Trail Blazers with the latest one being the most damaging. Portland has been dealing with injuries to its big men but this time, they have lost one half of their dynamic backcourt duo.
According to a team announcement, starting shooting guard C.J. McCollum has suffered a hairline fracture to the lateral cuneiform bone of his left foot:
CJ McCollum’s fracture is to the lateral cuneiform bone, which sits in the middle of the foot. It’s an incredibly rare injury because this bone is well protected. He is also dealing with a midfoot sprain, meaning there is damage to a ligament in the Lisfranc joint. pic.twitter.com/BhD5LDCtcr
— Inside Injuries (@InsideInjuries) January 19, 2021
McCollum will be required to wear a walking boot and will be out of action for at least four weeks.
Hairline Fracture in His Left Foot
CJ McCollum has a hairline fracture in his left foot and will be “re-evaluated” in four weeks pic.twitter.com/BOc0Jyubqr
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 19, 2021
McCollum suffered the injury during the first quarter of Portland’s 112-106 win over the Atlanta Hawks last Saturday. Hawks big man Clint Capela landed on McCollum’s foot as the latter as driving to the basket and his foot twisted when it landed. McCollum managed to finish the first half but did not return to action in the third quarter.
After the game, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts told reporters that McCollum suffered a sprain. Portland superstar Damian Lillard was also positive during the postgame interviews as he believed that McCollum won’t miss too many games. However, further testing the following day revealed the small hairline fracture.
The Blazers got a big lift from Rodney Hood who put up 21 points in the Hawks game while taking over McCollum’s spot. However, four weeks in a shortened 72-game season means a significant number of games and it remains uncertain if Hood can consistently put up those kind of numbers. One thing’s sure though, the Blazers will miss McCollum’s ability to make clutch baskets when needed.
Having His Best Season Ever
CJ McCollum was having a career-year before his injury.
4.8 3PG (leads NBA)
44.1 3P% pic.twitter.com/cA0t1Qxb6C
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 19, 2021
McCollum was also having his best season ever, averaging 26.7 points per game while also dishing off 5 dimes per contest. His 1.3 steals per game average this season is also a personal-best for the 29-year old guard who was Portland’s 10th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Named as the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2016, McCollum also ranked third in the league with an average of 4.8 three-pointers made per game and was shooting at a very high 44.1% from deep this season. His one turnover per game season average is also the lowest of his career since he was promoted to a starter during the 2015-16 NBA season.
The injury comes as a surprise as McCollum has been relatively healthy in his NBA career. Since becoming a starter, the only season where he’s missed more than four games was in 2018-19 campaign where he sat out 12 a total of 12 games, including 10 due to a knee injury.
Another Blazer Down
Another Blazer down: Injury bug bites CJ McCollum.#RipCity
? https://t.co/dans9hLLJ7 pic.twitter.com/ADJeBwCGDO
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) January 18, 2020
The Blazers are also without starting center Jusuf Nurkic and big man Zach Collins. Collins suffered an ankle three games into the season after playing just 11 games last year. Meanwhile, Nurkic fractured his wrist during a game against the Indiana Pacers last week. Nurk recently underwent surgery and is expected to be out for at least six weeks. Portland is currently 2nd in the Northwest Division team standings with an 8-6 record, just 1.5 games behind the Utah Jazz.
The Blazers are 1-2 without Nurkic and 1-1 without McCollum. Prior to this string of injuries, the Blazers looked like they were starting to play together with four straight wins. Now they will have to navigate without two of their starters, including their leading scorer for at least the next month.
Online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag currently lists Portland with the third best odds to win the Northwest Division at +350 and they have the 8th best odds to win the Western Conference at +2000. If the Blazers intend to make a run at the playoffs, they will need to stay afloat while they await the return of two of their starters.