Blazers G CJ McCollum Returns To Practice, Opens Up About Mental Battle Following Foot Injury

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard CJ McCollum opens up about the mental battle that came with the news that he had his broken foot in a rookie diary.

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports on Twitter that Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said Friday that rookie guard CJ McCollum participated fully in practice, including 5-on-5 scrimmages.

Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com has quotes from McCollum afterwards.

You're completely pain-free?

"I've been pain-free for a long time. But yeah, the foot feels really good. Obviously I've got to get more practices in, kind of get used to playing five-on-five, but I look forward to it."

How will it be judged that you're ready to get in games?

"I know I won't be ready after one practice. We'll just kind of take it slow and kind of see how I feel, see how I'm progressing."

More quotes -- from both Stotts and McCollum -- here.

McCollum was recently cleared for three-on-three. There is still no official timetable for his return to the court after he suffered a broken bone in his foot earlier this season.

McCollum opened up about the mental battle that came with his foot injury in a rookie diary entry told to Christopher Hunt of MensFitness.com.

What would you think if you fractured your foot for the second time going into your rookie season? It was a tough situation. You try to put yourself in a position to be successful and you do a lot of things the right way and try to take care of your body. Then you have a situation like this and you have these negative thoughts. Why did this have to happy to me? All that stuff. Then you try to figure out - having gone through it before - what the next steps get healthy. You just go from this place of feeling sorry for yourself to getting over it. I got over it pretty quickly. I'm not trying to put myself in a bad situation.

I told myself God wouldn't put me in this situation if I wasn't capable of overcoming it. It's just about trusting that everything will work out. I mean, I've been through worse things in my life than a fractured foot so this just means nothing. I'm in a position now where my life is not bad at all. I tell myself all the time that my life could be a lot worse than having a fractured foot and being in the NBA. So I look on the bright side. I have to look at how fortunate I am.

Here's the full diary entry.

McCollum discussed the injury, which occurred during training camp, right here. He underwent an ultrasound procedure to treat the injury in mid-October and has been listed as out indefinitely since. McCollum underwent a follow-up in mid-November and a CT scan this week.

McCollum previously broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot back in January, and he underwent surgery after sustaining that injury. His initial recovery timeline after that injury was set at 8-to-10 weeks but he did not return for the rest of the 2012-13 NCAA season. McCollum did not participate in the skills portion of the Chicago pre-draft combine in May but he went through a solo workout with the Blazers in June. He told reporters that he was fully healed prior to playing for the Blazers at the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League in July.

McCollum, 22, was taken with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He averaged 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34.6 minutes over five Summer League appearances.

McCollum -- who pencils as the fourth guard on the Blazers' depth chart behind Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams -- was interviewed earlier this season on Blazers Courtside. He was regarded by his peers as one of the favorites to win the 2014 Rookie of the Year award prior to his injury.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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