Blazers' CJ McCollum Reportedly Expected to Return from Collapsed Lung vs. Magic

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 14, 2022

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 4: CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots the ball during the game against the Boston Celtics on December 4, 2021 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is expected to return to the lineup Monday against the Orlando Magic after making a full recovery from a collapsed lung, per The Athletic's Shams Charania

The former Lehigh star played the first 24 games of this season, but a collapsed right lung forced him to sit beginning Dec. 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers. On Dec. 23, Portland announced that a CT scan showed that McCollum's lung had fully healed and that he would be reevaluated in one week.

The 30-year-old has averaged 20.6 points, 4.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds in his ninth NBA season with the Blazers.

He's served as the backcourt sidekick to Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard for the better part of a decade, and the two have been part of eight straight playoff teams.

McCollum has notably averaged 20 or more points per game since 2015-16, when he won the NBA's Most Improved Player award.

Unfortunately, injuries have sidelined McCollum numerous times over the past two seasons.

hairline fracture and a midfoot sprain in his left foot led to him playing just 47 of the Blazers' 72 games last year.

Without McCollum, the Blazers moved Norman Powell from small forward to shooting guard. Nassir Little entered the starting lineup with Larry Nance Jr. and Jusuf Nurkic in the frontcourt.

McCollum's return will be a welcome one for the Blazers, who have been without Lillard since Dec. 31 because of an abdominal injury. The team announced Thursday Lillard had undergone surgery on the injury and will be reevaluated in six weeks.