After two years in a supporting role at the beginning of his career, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has become a legitimate standout. The 27-year-old averaged 21.7 points per game across three seasons from 2015 through 2018 and, while Damian Lillard is the face of the franchise in Portland, McCollum’s surge has been heavily responsible for strong recent play for the franchise.
While expectations remain high for McCollum and the Blazers in 2018-19, the former Lehigh star will reportedly be taking the floor after an offseason treatment on his right knee. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports brings word that McCollum received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection approximately four months ago with an aim “to relieve pain and alleviate minor swelling” in the knee.
The report details “persistent soreness” for McCollum over the course of the 2017-2018 season and, though it is important to note that an MRI on the area was clean of structural damage, it is also noteworthy that he had a procedure. Of course, players like Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry and Dwyane Wade have received similar (or identical) treatments in the past and, at this juncture, there is likely no reason for overarching concern for McCollum.
It will be interesting to see if the Blazers monitor McCollum closely this season, particularly on the heels of a 2017-18 campaign in which he averaged a career-high 36.1 minutes per game. For now, though, this is simply a note that would underscore a previous issue, rather than necessarily predicting future issues or additional maintenance efforts down the line.