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Leonard Offers Encouragement, Wisdom to Blazers’ Collins

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Meyers Leonard, who endured a shoulder injury of his own, delivered advice to Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins

Oklahoma City Thunder v Portland Trail Blazers - Game One Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

The less-than-encouraging news surrounding the timeline for Zach Collins’ return to the Trail Blazers following shoulder surgery garnered a response from Meyers Leonard. The current HEAT big man, who endured shoulder issues of his own, directed a few wise words at his former teammate.

Leonard revealed to NBC Sports Northwest contributor Peter Socotch that he is encouraged by the early decision to have Collins undergo surgery.

“I’m happy for him that he’s getting it taken care of now vs. waiting,” Leonard said. “[It’s a] much safer and easier surgery.”

Along with his thoughts on the procedure, Leonard explained that he still has a special bond with Collins.

“Zach is like a brother to me,” Leonard said. “I’m incredibly proud of everything he’s done and he has a very bright future in this league. He’s tough, he works hard and he wants to win. I know that Zach will be laser focused during his rehab and recovery and will come back stronger than ever.”

Leonard, now with the HEAT, is averaging 8.8 points and 5.7 rebounds through Miami’s first six games. The HEAT will visit the Moda Center on February 9.