Portland Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum Removes Walking Boot

May 16, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; C.J. McCollum is interviewed during the NBA Draft combine at Harrison Street Athletics Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers’ 10th pick in the 2013 NBA draft CJ McCollum removed his walking boot on Friday. He had re-fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during preseason practice 41 days ago, and his recovery seems to be going well. According to Chris Haynes at CSNNW, McCollum is not only able to do light shooting, he has lost 6 lbs since September. Although the Trail Blazers are eager to implement their new weapon, they will remain cautious as McCollum’s return looms.

For a team that is realistically competing for a low playoff seed in the West, every regular season game counts. The sooner CJ McCollum is able to contribute, the better. McCollum underwent a non-operative ultrasound procedure on October 16th to begin the recovery process, and was given a minimum of six weeks before reevaluation. The fact that McCollum is able to ditch the walking boot just shy of four weeks after the procedure is a promising sign.

When CJ McCollum returns, he will be eased back into the lineup, but should eventually share Mo Williams’ job playing relief for Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews. It would be difficult not to improve upon Williams’ early performances, so consider this a welcome change. I expect McCollum to return to practice before December and play a minimal role in games well before Christmas, barring any unforeseen setbacks.