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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