Blazers Starters CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic Nearing Return

by March 16, 2021
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CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have had yet another season affected by major injuries, as star guard CJ McCollum has missed the team’s last 25 games with a hairline fracture in his right foot and fellow starter Jusuf Nurkic has only played in 12 games this season due to a fractured right wrist.

Fortunately for Portland — who has managed to notch a 22-16 record (sixth in the Western Conference) in the absence of McCollum, Nurkic, Zach Collins and Harry Giles — All-Star point guard Damian Lillard will have his backcourt mate back soon.

As first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, McCollum will return to the Blazers’ lineup on Tuesday as Portland faces off against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Additionally, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Nurkic intends to return to the team in “approximately two weeks.”

Prior to his foot injury, McCollum was having a career season, averaging 26.7 points, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting .441 from deep. In 12 games, Nurkic was averaging 9.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.9 blocks and 0.9 steals per contest in what was a down season but still one in which he demonstrated his versatility..

With the addition of McCollum and Nurkic, a steady Portland squad has a chance to surge up the Western Conference standings as their starting lineup and bench will improve significantly.

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