Injury Notes: McCollum, Markkanen, Luka, Nuggets, Williams

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum has been ruled out of Monday’s contest in Utah, which will be his 12th consecutive missed game. However, the 32-year-old veteran is aiming to return to action later this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that McCollum could play either Wednesday against Philadelphia or Friday vs. San Antonio.

McCollum, who has been out since Nov. 4 with a collapsed lung, is averaging 21.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, 4.8 RPG and 1.5 SPG on .440/.380/.742 shooting through six games this season. He was a full practice participant last week.

Another marquee player will be also sidelined for the matchup between the Pelicans and Jazz. Lauri Markkanen has been ruled out for the second straight game, tweets Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune.

As Larsen observes (via Twitter), Markkanen was previously listed as having a sore left hamstring, but the injury is now classified as a strain — it’s possible the All-Star forward may have undergone some imaging to confirm the diagnosis. On a more positive note, Jordan Clarkson will return tonight after missing the previous game due to an illness.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • The Mavericks received good news on Monday, as the left thumb injury that Luka Doncic sustained on Saturday isn’t serious. After undergoing an MRI, Doncic was diagnosed with a low-grade sprain and he will be available for Tuesday’s matchup with Houston, though he did wear a wrap on his thumb during Monday’s practice, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (subscriber link). Rookie center Dereck Lively practiced as well, but he’s questionable with a lower back contusion, Townsend adds.
  • Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon will miss his second straight game on Monday due to a right heel strain, while reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic is questionable due to lower back pain, tweets Vinny Benedetto of The Denver Gazette. As we previously relayed, Jamal Murray is out tonight, but he could return later this week.
  • Thunder wing Jalen Williams is available for Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Wolves, according to Rylan Stiles of Locked on Thunder (Twitter link). Last season’s runner-up for Rookie of the Year has missed three consecutive games with a left hip strain.
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