The Portland Trail Blazers announced Zach Collins suffered a hairline medial malleolus stress fracture of his left ankle and will miss the remainder of their series against the Los Angeles Lakers and any other potential postseason games.
Collins is expected to undergo surgery to repair the injured ankle. He missed a majority of the regular season with a shoulder injury but returned in the bubble and was starting for Portland in their seeding games before suffering the ankle injury.
In the Trail Blazers’ eight seeding games, Collins played 25.4 minutes a night and averaged 6.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 46.9% from the field.
With Collins out, the Trail Blazers were forced to start Wenyen Gabriel the first two games of the series against the Lakers, which was a big change considering he had just two starts in his entire NBA career prior to that.
Gabriel played solid for the Trail Blazers in their win in Game 1 but the was no match for Anthony Davis in Game 2 as the Lakers’ star dominated on both ends of the floor, scoring 31 points on 13-of-21 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal in just 29 minutes of action.
The Lakers went on to blow out Portland, 111-88, to tie the series at a game apiece. Game 3 will take place on Saturday night, and with Collins ruled out for the series, Gabriel will likely get another chance to start unless head coach Terry Stotts decides to make a lineup change.
Lillard expects to play in Game 3 after dislocating finger in Game 2
Collins isn’t the only Trail Blazers player dealing with an injury as bubble MVP Damian Lillard suffered a dislocated finger in his non-shooting hand during the Game 2 loss.
Late in the third quarter, Lillard tried to swipe a ball away from Davis and hit his finger on his shoe, forcing the dislocation which was put back into place on the sideline.
While the finger will likely still bother him for the remainder of the season, Lillard made it clear that he plans on playing in Game 3.
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