The biggest issue for the Portland Trail Blazers this past calendar year has been their inability to keep everyone healthy at the same time long enough to get their bearings and establish some cohesion as a unit. They’ve suffered through a variety of injuries at the most inopportune times, but such are the realities of NBA basketball.
Fourth-year forward Zach Collins has been bit particularly hard by the injury bug. Last year, in just the third game of the regular season, Collins suffered a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for the remainder of the season. He returned for the Blazers’ run through the seeding games in the Orlando Bubble, but went down with an ankle injury during the play-in game against the Grizzlies that required surgery.
Collins was progressing and was hopeful for a return sometime in January, but it appears he re-aggravated the injury at some point in recent weeks, requiring a second procedure that could potentially require him to miss the remainder of the season.
But just as the rehab seemed to be going well at the start of the 2020-21 season, things changed.
As Collins began ramping up his workouts, the setback likely occurred.
It appears the earliest Collins could return after undergoing a surgery like this would be in the final weeks of the regular season or postseason, but the team and Collins will likely be very cautious.
It’s a devastating development for both Collins and the Blazers, who were hoping to return to full strength this season and find out what they’re capable of when fully healthy. Both Rodney Hood and Jusuf Nurkic are back in the lineup and continuing to work their way back to form, but the progress has been incremental.
The Blazers dropped their opener against the Jazz, but are now 2-1 after wins against the Rockets and the defending champion Lakers. They square off against the Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center.