CJ McCollum Has Fracture In Back, Continues To Play

The Trail Blazers have made an impressive run during the restart, moving into the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings with one seeding game remaining. It turns out that one of their top players has been fighting through an injury.

CJ McCollum has been playing with a fracture in his lower back, Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Northwest reports. The exact diagnosis is an L3 vertebral transverse process (non-displaced) fracture.

McCollum continues to play heavy minutes despite the injury. He has been on the court for 39 minutes in each of the last three games, including a victory over Dallas on Tuesday.

However, it may be affecting his offense. He’s only scored a combined 24 points in the last two games on 9-for-33 shooting. Damian Lillard‘s offensive explosion, including a 61-point outburst against the Mavericks, has offset that.

Lillard said McCollum plans to tough it out going forward, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“He’s a little bit banged up,” Lillard said of McCollum. “He’s making no excuses or looking for no way out.”

McCollum has plenty of financial security. He signed a three-year, $100MM extension last summer.

Portland can clinch the eighth spot and advance to the play-in round against the ninth-place team with a win against Brooklyn on Thursday.

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10 thoughts on “CJ McCollum Has Fracture In Back, Continues To Play

  1. phenomenalajs

    His health is most important. Granted I’d like to see my Nets complete the seeding games on a roll and that Booker bringing his team from the wasteland to the promised land by going undefeated in the seeding and play-in games would be a cool story, but back injuries are no joke. They took down David Wright’s career on the Mets.

  2. Reflect

    This is crazy. You can get all kinds of complications and more severe injuries playing through a vertebra fracture.

    And the Trailblazers have no chance at a ring so they need to shut him down.

    • wagner13

      Agreed you don’t want to risk further injury. However, how can you suggest Portland has no shot? Lillard is deadly and the return of Nurkic has bolstered the frontcourt. In my opinion, they’re at least the fifth best team in the western conference

      • acryingfish

        you’re not wrong, they do have a snowballs chance in hell at winning the thing.

        is that worth risking it for though?

        IMO you don’t risk that kind of injury for that little a chance

    • SheaGoodbye

      If he’s willing to do it for the team, let him. It should ultimately be his decision. If the team is forcing/convincing him to play, that’s a different matter entirely, but I doubt that’s the case.

      It should be noted we don’t know whether this is one of those injuries that is at risk of getting worse with playing. Maybe it’s just a pain tolerance thing and the doctors are okay with him continuing to go out there. If so and he still is determined to go out and play, that’s on him.

      • stevep-4

        Yeah. Let him drink morphine, we need some games to watch. He has his whole life to get surgeries and custom body braces.

        • SheaGoodbye

          You’ve obviously already had some given your lack of reading comprehension.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Yeah that’s crazy. You don’t mess with backs on athletes. Shut him down. Man I was looking forward to Blazers vs Lakers. Now I’m rooting for young Suns. Ayton is playing. Like to see how he does against AD and Laker bigs. Booker is on fire. Lakers got no one for him. I rooting for Suns …. CJ get healthy.

  4. El Don

    Why all the worry about CJ? Don’t get it! Y’all couch physicians, POR has real docs, do you think if they thought he could be damaging himself badly they would let him on the court? Oh boy!

  5. x%sure

    Back injuries usually have to be played through and this may be a case of that. The transverse process” isn’t even crucial to the spinal cord or to body support though it can hurt like heck and be hard to fix.
    Ho pefully some auto-healing can happen, albeit imperfect.
    There’s no replaceable parts, like with all these knee & foot injuries popping up in restart. Neither repair nor further injuries from over-compensation may ever happen, because what could over-compensate? The spine is solo.

    Mccollum has always needed to be traded away from Lilliard IMO.

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