It was a foot injury that ended C.J. McCollum’s senior season at Lehigh prematurely. However, that didn’t stop the Portland Trail Blazers from realizing his immense potential and talent and selecting him early in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Now it seems like it’s a foot injury that will be the first hurdle in his foray into the NBA.
On Saturday it was announced by the Trail Blazers PR department that McCollum suffered a foot injury at training camp. To be specific, x-rays showed that the rookie had fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, an injury that will require surgery. The Blazers won’t be able to determine a timetable for his return until after that surgery is completed.
McCollum was expected to be a big part of the Blazers bench when he was initially drafted. The Blazers had one of the worst and least productive benches in the league last season, which McCollum and fellow draft pick Allen Crabbe both were selected to help remedy coming into this season.
Despite their need to improve their bench coming into this off-season, the loss of McCollum may not be as devastating to the Blazers as you might think. In actuality, they should be able to survive.
Portland actually did a solid job of loading reserves this summer beyond McCollum. As I mentioned, they also added Crabbe in the draft. More than that, though, they also added Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright and, more importantly for the guard position, veteran Mo Williams. Williams is the key to all of this for the Blazers. His addition to this team will help alleviate some of the pressure of losing McCollum for however long.
I still believe in McCollum as a pro prospect and think that, if he was healthy, he could put himself in the race to become Rookie of the Year. It’s unfortunate that we won’t get to watch him for the time that he’s out, but I don’t think it will affect the outlook for his career or the Blazers’ season that greatly.
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