Update: McCollum is out Friday against the Nuggets. Original story on his recovery follows:
Blazers announce CJ McCollum is out for Friday's game at Denver.— Jason Quick (@jwquick) April 4, 2019
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has missed the last nine games as he recovers from a popliteus strain. The Blazers have gone 8-1 in that time, but the schedule has featured lower opponents, not the ones they’ll face in the NBA Playoffs. McCollum is inching back towards the court as the regular season nears an end; he participated in some practice drills ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies.
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian detailed McCollum’s current plan of attack:
“I’m going to see how my body reacts, try to get through this week, see where I’m at and kind of go from there,” McCollum said. “When I first got hurt, there were some dates that I kind of circled and I’m getting close to them. So I’ll see how I feel. The biggest thing for me is just to make sure I’m symptom-free, make sure I don’t have any lingering issues, before I step back on the court.”
McCollum is aware that the playoffs are approaching, and he knows what standard his body has to be up to in order to compete at that high level:
“I know what it’s like, I’ve played in playoff games,” McCollum said. “I think it’s just comfort. If I feel like I’m ready in the playoffs, then that’s when I’ll play. If I feel like I’m ready before that, then I’ll come back before that. So I don’t necessarily need a tune-up game … I’ve been there. I know what I need to do physically to get myself ready for that. So it’s just more about comfort and the training staff all being on the same page.”
You can read more from Freeman’s piece here.