Zach Collins Plays G League Game, Nears Return For Spurs

The Spurs took a gamble on Zach Collins in free agency and the oft-injured forward could make his San Antonio debut sometime this month.

Collins was assigned to the G League Austin Spurs on Sunday, as Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets, and he recorded eight points and three blocks in 19 minutes against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Monday.

Collins expects to play one more game for the Austin Spurs on Friday before returning to the NBA club, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News (Twitter link).

“Then after that, if that goes well, and the ankle responds to that well, then I should be going back up (to the Spurs),” Collins said.

However, coach Gregg Popovich said that’s not necessarily the case, Orsborn reports in another tweet.

“He’s been out for a long time, I mean a really long time,” Popovich said. “He needs this to get his rhythm back and to feel comfortable and have confidence in himself, physically, as much as playing-wise.”

Collins was signed to a three-year, $22MM contract last summer, which includes a partial guarantee for next season. The third year is non-guaranteed.

The 10th pick of the 2017 draft, Collins has seen his career sidetracked by injuries. Collins became an unrestricted free agent when the Trail Blazers decided not to extend him a $7MM qualifying offer. He has only appeared in 11 games the past two seasons due to shoulder, foot and ankle injuries.

Collins had a major setback in late June when another fracture was discovered in his left foot. He underwent a second revision surgery to repair a left medial malleolus stress fracture.

One of his new teammates, Doug McDermott, said the team is eager to see Collins get back in action. He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since August 2020 at the Orlando bubble.

“It’s been a long journey for him,” McDermott told Orsborn (Twitter link).

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