Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum suffered an “L3 vertebral transverse process fracture (non-displaced)” while playing in the NBA’s restart at Disney World. While the injury was reported in mid-August, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes clarified that McCollum actually suffered the injury in the first seeding game on July 31 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The former Lehigh standout played through the injury and didn’t miss a single game while Portland chased a playoff spot.
On Wednesday, McCollum updated his recovery process, saying his rehab is “progressing well” and he’s nearing “full activity,” per Blazers digital reporter Casey Holdahl:
"Good, it’s progressing well... Got a little plan together from a rehab standpoint to kind of make sure everything is in place." -- @CJMcCollum regarding the vertebral fracture he suffered in the bubble, says he'll return to "full activity" next month.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) October 7, 2020
McCollum averaged 20.1 points per game over Portland’s eight seeding games, just shy of his season average of 22.2. His 29-point performance in the Blazers’ play-in game against the Grizzlies helped Portland clinch another playoff berth; that matchup featured an impressive closing run by McCollum, who torched rookie Ja Morant and made sure to let him know about it.
McCollum also joked about his back injury after the Memphis game by channeling Mike Tyson:
With the start of next season getting pushed back even further, McCollum should have plenty of time to be 100% before play begins.