Portland Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum playing with fractured vertebra

After the Portland Trail Blazers game, Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Northwest reported that CJ McCollum has been playing with a fractured vertebra in his back.

In what looks to be a massive blow for the Portland Trail Blazers, CJ McCollum has been playing with a fractured L3 vertebra in his back. With some quiet games and then some uncharacteristic misses from the deadeye shooting guard tonight, this explains his struggles.

NBC Sports Northwest reporter Dwight Jaynes broke this news after the thrilling win over the Dallas Mavericks. Jaynes quoted unnamed sources.

He has been playing with an L3 verterbral transverse process fracture ( non-displaced ) since last Thursday.

Though the Portland Trail Blazers are in the eight-seed now with a high chance of making the playoffs, CJ is clearly in a lot of pain, and it’s uncertain at the moment it’s unclear if he needs surgery or if he can continue playing.

Orthoinfo.org gives a small breakdown of the injury.

Fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine may result from high-energy trauma, such as a:

Car or motorcycle collision
Fall from a significant height
Sports accident
Violent act

Many times, these patients have additional serious injuries that require rapid treatment. The spinal cord and/or nerves may also be injured, depending on the severity of the fracture.

CJ went 2 of 14 in the win over the Mavericks, a rare sub ten-point performance for one of the top shooting guards in the league. He did manage to ice two free throws to ice the game, though.

We need to see further updates to figure out if this will impact CJ’s availability for the last game, and then the postseason. For now, the Blazers are one game away from a play-in tournament.