Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum was diagnosed with a popliteus strain last Sunday, with the team set to re-evaluate him at the end of this week. Portland hung on for a win over the Indiana Pacers in their first game without McCollum, using a rotating cast to make up for his absence. McCollum talked with reporters about the plan for his return to the court, as transcribed by Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl:
How long would you imagine you’ll be out?
CJ McCollum: What, did they say I’ll be re-evaluated in one week? So. Just taking it day by day, I don’t have a timeline that I’m going to give you guys, but I think just based on the research, there’s not a lot of injuries like this that have happened. So timeline is different just depending on the age, how well your body heals, what you’ve done before that and kind of where you’re at. But hopefully I can be back sooner than later.
McCollum isn’t planning for a specific time to come back, rather it’ll happen when he’s fully healthy:
Do you expect to come back in the regular season? Is that a goal of yours?
CJ McCollum: I think my goal is just to come back when I’m healthy. Obviously you don’t want to miss games -- this is the seventh game I’ve missed in four years and two of them was rest and one was being left off the roster, so I don’t like to miss games. But I’ve got to do what’s best for myself from a health standpoint. Doctors will sign off when they think I’m ready so hopefully that’s sooner than later, but I’m two days in so I don’t know how it will be two weeks, three weeks.
McCollum also noted where his strain possibly falls on the spectrum, hoping it’s in the middle:
What grade of strain did they say you have?
CJ McCollum: I’m not sure. I would imagine there’s probably three or four versions of it, I think four is probably the worst. Hopefully mine is in the middle but I didn’t ask. I just asked what I had and how long they thought it was going to take. They were basically like “We’ll re-evaluate you bi-weekly, see how it goes from there.”
You can read more from McCollum’s media availability here.
Portland plays their second McCollum-less game Wednesday at home against the Mavericks.