CJ McCollum, a seasoned player in the New Orleans Pelicans’ backcourt who has been averaging 21.7 points per game this season, will be sidelined due to a collapsed lung, as officially announced by the team.
McCollum’s condition was diagnosed as a “small pneumothorax in his right lung” through medical imaging, according to the Pelicans. The duration of his absence hinges on the extent of the lung collapse, and it could range from a few weeks to as many as the 18 games McCollum missed in 2021 due to the same injury.
Despite the setback, McCollum appears to be maintaining a positive attitude about his injury as he even tweeted the news. He shared the announcement on his social media and quipped, “This is an insane pic to post with the news.”
BREAKING: CJ McCollum has been diagnosed with a collapsed lung. pic.twitter.com/K15BTGyuZJ
— Basketball Forever (@bballforever_) November 5, 2023
The term “small” in this context implies that the lung did not completely collapse; instead, air accumulated in the chest cavity, causing some shrinkage of the lung, per NBC Sports. This type of injury is more commonly associated with contact sports like football and hockey. (RELATED: REPORT: Zion Williamson Has ‘No Relationship’ With Pelicans Organization, ‘Minimal’ With New Orleans Teammates)
The Pelicans have begun the season with a 4-2 record, and McCollum has played a crucial role in their success, averaging 21.7 points per game while shooting 38% from beyond the arc, the outlet added. Additionally, he contributes 5.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Injuries have been a recurring issue for the Pelicans over the past couple of years. While Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have remained unscathed so far this season, McCollum now joins a growing list of injured players that includes Trey Murphy (knee surgery), backup point guard Jose Alvarado (sprained ankle), and center Naji Marshall (knee).