The NBA's shortened offseason means the league is hoping to have the 2021-22 season back on track with more of a ‘regular’ NBA start time in early fall.
But that also means Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins won’t have as much time to rehab.
The NBA had targeted a Jan. start time and there were even rumors swirling that the 2020-21 season wouldn't tip-off until early spring.
But now with the Dec. 22 start date, it sounds like Collins won’t quite be ready to go.
The 23-year-old power forward/center underwent successful season-ending surgery to address the left ankle injury he suffered on Aug. 15 during the NBA restart.
Collins’ rehab has been progressing, but we shouldn’t expect to see him until a few weeks into the season.
Collins is currently in Portland working out and continuing to rehab his ankle.
NBCSNW has learned that he is still limited on the court; however, the Blazers have not had any five-on-five scrimmages or any contact yet due to COVID-19 protocols.
Injuries have not been kind to the Gonzaga alum after starting out last season needing shoulder surgery after just three games played.
And thus, he played in a total of 11 regular-season games last season.
During his second year in the league in the 2018-19 season, Collins averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds appearing in 77 regular-season games.
Big Z is looking to put the injuries behind him and that means not rushing back too soon.