Blazers' CJ McCollum Says He Won't Need Surgery on Back Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers' CJ McCollum (3) drives against Los Angeles Lakers' Alex Caruso (4) during the second half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum says he will not need surgery on a fractured vertebra that hampered him throughout the NBA's restart.

McCollum told reporters he'll instead take six to eight weeks to recover through a combination of rest and rehabilitation.

The Blazers were eliminated from the 2020 playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. McCollum had 36 points, seven assists and six rebounds as he attempted to keep Portland's season alive despite the absence of Damian Lillard.

"It was all mental. I was fortunate enough to have an injury I can play through, and our training staff has done a great job of monitoring it," McCollum told reporters earlier this month. "You understand you're playing more than just yourself."

McCollum averaged 23.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the series, numbers that were right in line with his regular-season stats. The Blazers were always facing an uphill battle against the top-seeded Lakers, and injuries to Lillard, McCollum and Zach Collins made the effort a near-impossible task.

Lillard missed the final game of the series with a right knee sprain after previously dislocating his left index finger in Game 2.