Trail Blazers' CJ McCollum Won't Return vs. Hawks After Suffering Foot Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum suffered a left foot sprain Saturday during the team's matchup against the Atlanta Hawks at Moda Center, the team announced he would not return to the game.

An MRI after the game—which the Blazers won, 112-106—confirmed the diagnosis, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.

McCollum had 16 points in 19 minutes before his injury. He entered the night averaging 27.6 points, 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

The 29-year-old Ohio native has come a long way since being a little-used reserve during the first two years of his career with the Blazers. He's averaged over 20 points in five straight seasons and emerged as the perfect backcourt complement for star point guard Damian Lillard.

McCollum suffered a foot injury that forced him to miss a sizable portion of his rookie season in 2013-14, but he's otherwise remained mostly durable during his NBA rise. He's played at least 70 games in five straight years.

Rodney Hood figures to fill the void in the starting lineup alongside Lillard for the duration of the Ohio native's absence. It will also create additional opportunities for Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons as part of the wing rotation.

The Blazers have ample depth throughout their roster, which should allow them to overcome any type of short-term absence from their starter at shooting guard. A more extended absence would be tougher to overcome and put a lot of pressure on Lillard without his backcourt running mate.

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