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Portland’s Zach Collins hopes to return in January following ankle surgery

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Jabari Young explains why the NBA felt like they needed to start the 2020-21 season around Christmas in order to maximize revenue for the shortened season.

Zach Collins has played well for Portland when he’s healthy enough to be on the court — which will not be until January.

Collins left the bubble — in the middle of the play-in game against Memphis — and ultimately needed surgery on a hairline medial malleolus stress fracture of his left ankle. That is going to sideline him until mid-to-late January. From Trail Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl.

Collins has just not been able to stay healthy. He required surgery for a separated shoulder just three games into last season. He returned for the bubble restart in Orlando and started every seeding game for Portland, averaging 6.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists a night. Collins Brings needed size, athleticism, and shooting from a big Portland uses to space the floor.

If Portland is going to make the kind of playoff run Damian Lillard wants to see, it will need a healthy Collins. Starting hopefully in January.