It had been 540 days since Zach Collins played in an NBA game, but the former Portland Trail Blazers big man ended that streak Friday night when his new team, the San Antonio Spurs, suited up against the Houston Rockets.
Collins scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Spurs’ 131-107 win over the Rockets.
“It meant everything man,” Collins told Bally Sports Southwest studio host Dan Weiss. “It’s been a long road.”
It has been a long road for Collins, who last played in the NBA on August 13, 2020 — the final regular season game in the Orlando bubble. He struggled with a torn labrum for most of the 2019-20 season, limiting him to just 11 games that season. Then, he missed all of the 2020-21 season with a malleolus stress fracture of his ankle. This past June, he refractured it, which killed any small chance of the Blazers re-signing him.
He’s been rehabbing his second fracture with the Spurs ever since, and it’s taken another six months to finally get back on the court.
Here’s to hoping Collins stays healthy and continues to improve in his time with the Spurs.