The Portland Trail Blazers concluded a three-game road trip on Saturday night with a scary incident in San Antonio.
Portland didn’t just lose to the Spurs on 108-103; the Blazers also lost CJ McCollum to what the Blazers are calling a left leg injury.
McCollum left the game with 7:08 in the third quarter after getting blocked by Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl and falling to ground awkwardly.
McCollum goes up for a layup and takes a hard fall. Has to be helped to the locker room. We will have updates as soon as we get them.... pic.twitter.com/YZNN8uneW7— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) March 17, 2019
The Trail Blazers starting shooting guard stayed on the ground in pain for a couple of minutes, holding his left knee, as the Blazer took a full timeout and the entire team stood around him. McCollum was helped off the court to the locker room and, as expected, did not return to the game.
After the final horn sounded, both the Blazers and Spurs showed their concern for McCollum.
“I feel bad for CJ McCollum – I hope he is okay. He is a great player and a great kid,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told the media.
As for Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, he was trying not to jump to any conclusions.
“X-Rays are negative. He’s gonna get an MRI. It’s a leg injury and we’ll see how it is,” Stotts told reporters after the game.
“Anytime a guy goes down, you’re worried. We’ll see what the tests show,” Stotts added.
McCollum did fly back with the team on Saturday night. He will undergo an MRI back in Portland on Sunday.
Stotts was able to talk with McCollum immediately after the game for a brief moment and Stotts let the media know, “obviously, he’s upset, disappointed, but, we’ll see what the tests show.”
In the locker room, McCollum gave his own description of what happened on the play:
“I went up for a lay-up, a left-handed lay-up, and the big fella blocked it, I landed on my foot, kinda trapped my foot on the ground. I felt my knee kind of twist, some pain,” McCollum told reporters in the locker room postgame.
Besides the X-rays being negative and McCollum not hearing any type of popping sound when he went down, he admitted he does not have much more information than that.
One thing is certain in McCollum’s mind, though…
He did not break his foot again.
“I’ve broken my foot, so I know what that feels like, so it’s not my foot. It’s definitely around my knee, but I don’t know the extent of it, I don’t know if it’s lateral… I just know that it’s not normal,” McCollum said.
McCollum was still in pain and had some “discomfort in certain areas” in his left knee after getting the X-rays done and after the game concluded. He told reporters “it hurts,” and added:
“You never want to get hurt, not ever, especially at this point in the season.”
As you would expect, McCollum’s running mate, Damian Lillard, had a somber tone when talking about McCollum’s injury after the game.
“Once I saw him stay down, I knew that he was really hurt, that was my biggest concern- just seeing him stay down, because usually he would get up and try to play or get up and try to walk it off, but he was down, so… Hopefully he’ll be alright,” Lillard said.
Lillard also told reporters, “I think first, you’re concerned about his health as a person, you know, beyond the game, you never want to see that happen and then he’s so big for our team that you just get concerned for that, too.”
Now as all of Rip City holds its breath, it’s time for the waiting game.
“We’ll see how the injury is and we’ll adjust after that. You know, I don’t want to make any assumptions until we know how CJ is,” Stotts said.
“Nothing, I can do about it, but rehab and see what they say,” McCollum added.