The Trail Blazers have announced that CJ McCollum’s popliteus strain will be re-evaluated early next week, but Damian Lillard is already preparing for some less-than-optimal news.
Speaking to the media after last night’s 106-98 victory over the Pacers, Lillard said he hopes McCollum makes a full recovery before attempting to play and is mentally preparing to finish out the regular season without his fellow starting guard.
Damian Lillard on CJ McCollum's left knee injury and when his backcourt mate might return: "I don’t want him to have to rush it. And when he does come back, I want him to be himself and be healthy. So, in my mind, we’re going to finish the regular season without him."— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) March 19, 2019
McCollum, who’s averaging 21.3 points per game and shooting 38 percent on 3-pointers this season, injured his knee on Saturday against the Spurs.
The Blazers currently hold the 4-seed in the western conference with 12 games to play, but have only a 2.5 game cushion over the 8-seed Clippers. A long-term absence for McCollum could have a major impact on the final playoff bracket.