Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum says ‘I’ll know when I’m ready’ to return, but he’s not there yet

Trail Blazers

With an 18-13 overall record and currently sitting in the 5th seed in the Western Conference, the shorthanded Trail Blazers have four more games remaining before the all-important All-Star break.

For the past couple of weeks, the hope and thought has been that Portland will get both CJ McCollum (left mid-foot fracture) and Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) back soon after the All-Star break, if not immediately after. 

The two are set to be reevaluated next week. 

Following Thursday’s practice in Los Angeles, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said there is currently no official return date for either Nurkic or McCollum.

"We’re hopeful to get them back sometime, but we really don’t have a timeline… They’re just doing individual work [right now]." 

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Nurkic did not make the trip with the team.

 

But, McCollum has been on Portland's three-game trip since the team left for Phoenix last Sunday. Stotts says McCollum was going through light shooting and ball handling drills in L.A. while the team practiced.

Thursday evening, Blazers beat reporter Casey Holdahl caught up with the Trail Blazers shooting guard to get the latest updates on his rehab.

It was on Jan 16 at home against the Atlanta Hawks when McCollum suffered the injury.

And after a month in a walking boot, he’s been getting back to light workouts on the court.

McCollum told Holdahl that his rehab “is going well,” adding, “I’ll be at six weeks on Saturday, slowly starting to do a little bit more. Loading the foot, movement, stretching it, trying to get my base and my balance back. Happy with how it’s going.”

As for a timeline and when McCollum will know he’s healthy enough to return, the 29-year-old mentioned he knows not to rush anything.

I’m not coming back until I’m ready, until I feel comfortable, until my foot is completely healed. I’m happy with where I’m at. Guys are doing a great job of stepping up and I’m not gonna rush my process. You know when you’re ready and I’ll know when I’m ready.

CJ McCollum told Blazers beat report Casey Holdahl

McCollum also explained how at this point in his rehab, it’s all about strengthening his left foot and leg so he can build up to getting comfortable with movement on the court again.

In 13 games played this season, McCollum was averaging a career-best 26.7 points to go along with 5.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds.

You can find the entire interview between CJ McCollum and Casey Holdahl right here.