Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers begin road to recovery after season marred by injuries

Trail Blazers
Getty Images

The 2019-20 Trail Blazers season had its ups and downs, to say the least.

It will filled with adversity

From Zach Collins dislocating his shoulder in the third game of the season that led to shoulder surgery to Rodney Hood tearing his left Achilles in December-- all while Jusuf Nurkic remained sidelined.

Then, there was the Orlando bubble injuries, which included, but wasn't limited to Collins' left ankle injury that will require surgery, CJ McCollum suffering a vertebral fracture and Damian Lillard dislocating his left index finger and spraining his knee.

Yes, that's a lot to deal with-- and that was just over the past few weeks. 

Following Saturday’s Game 5 loss to the Lakers, the Trail Blazers will be heading home, but they will also be bound for some much-needed recovery time.

[RELATED]: The Trail Blazers' longest season ever -- 311 days -- ends with a loss to Lakers  

The good news: All indications point to Lillard not needing surgery on his knee.

More good news: McCollum said Saturday night after Game 5 he won’t need surgery on his back.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon]:

After playing the first 46 minutes of the game until the Lakers had locked up the victory late in the final minutes, McCollum explained how he was feeling after the season-ending contest.

 

I’m tired.   

McCollum has played through his back injury since Portland's first seeding game against the Memphis Grizzlies on July 31. 

The Trail Blazers shooting guard, who moved over to fill the team's point guard duties with Lillard injured and now back in Portland, shouldered the load and then some.

In 46 minutes of work, McCollum finished with 36 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.  

The 28-year-old expanded on how he was feeling immediately after the game.

It was an interesting season. There was a lot of injuries, a lot of different obstacles that we faced… Come back and more injuries. All in all, I think we fought. We came to the bubble, said we wanted to have a chance to make the playoffs – we made the playoffs.  -- CJ McCollum

[RELATED]: Carmelo Anthony "prays" he will return to Portland next season

“Going forward it will be nice to let my back rest,” McCollum said thinking about the offseason.

McCollum not only shared that he won’t need surgery, he explained that his rehab would consist of 6-8 weeks of rest. 

But, McCollum wasn’t the only one playing through an injury in Game 5.

The team announced before tip-off that Jusuf Nurkic was dealing with a left shin splint, while Hassan Whiteside suffered a pinky finger dislocation as the first quarter was winding down. Plus, Wenyen Gabriel was downgraded to out just minutes before Saturday’s game due to a right quad tendinitis.

So again, to say the Blazers have earned their much-needed rest and recovery is an understatement.

Portland head coach Terry Stotts summed up the loss Saturday night stating that his team “ran out of gas.”

I was really proud of the way we played tonight. We ran out of gas. We just kept hanging around… We didn’t quite get to the end. -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

Now it’s time for the Blazers to refuel as the players, coaching staff, fans, and media members alike continue to wait for word on when the 2020-21 season will begin.

But at the moment, it’s time for the Blazers to get healthy.

Maybe putting them in a literal bubble for the next several months will do the trick.