After losing a close-fought battle against the San Antonio Spurs, the Portland Trail Blazers have won three straight games, but Terry Stotts’ team won’t be at full strength for a while longer. Standout guard C.J. McCollum left the contest with the Spurs early as a result of a knee injury and, while there was optimism for a swift return, word broke on Monday evening that the 27-year-old will not be available when the Blazers begin a four-game road trip in Chicago on Wednesday.
Stotts broke this news in advance of a home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday evening, indicating that McCollum will miss at least five additional games in total. Following the road trip, the Blazers will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, Apr. 3 and, at that point, Portland will have only five games remaining in the regular season.
With the Blazers firmly entrenched in the playoff picture, the more important takeaway will be having McCollum healthy and available for the playoffs, which might explain a cautious approach from the team in this situation. Still, it probably can’t be seen as an overwhelming positive that McCollum won’t return for more than a week and this continues to be a situation worth monitoring as the stretch run continues.