C.J. McCollum suffered a foot injury that Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts initially described as “nothing more than a sprain.”
Unfortunately for Portland, McCollum also fractured his foot.
No exaggeration: McCollum was playing at an MVP-ballot level. He probably wouldn’t have sustained quite that production. But the 29-year-old appeared to be peaking both as a scorer and with his all-around game.
This is a massive setback.
Especially because McCollum’s absence coincides with starting center Jusuf Nurkic being sidelined with a wrist injury.
At least Portland has the depth to stay afloat. Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr. can play bigger roles at shooting guard. Anfernee Simons can more regularly get the point guard minutes McCollum handled while Damian Lillard sat.
Lillard will have to put the team on his back – which he can do. But with that setup, the Trail Blazers are more just staying competitive rather than being a force in the Western Conference.