The Portland Trail Blazers have announced that Zach Collins has undergone successful shoulder surgery. Collins left Portland’s 121-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks on October 27th. He underwent an initial MRI a couple of days after the injury happened, but more time was needed before a decision could be made on whether or not he would undergo the surgery.
Zach Collins Out at Least Four Months
Collins was playing more minutes this season, which was to be expected after he moved into the starting lineup following coming off the bench in his first two seasons. In that action, Collins has shown some improvement.
However, it was way too early in the season to make any big statements about Collins’ development.
One thing he did have a positive impact on though was the defense.
So far this season, Portland has allowed a layup line on the defensive end. Collins isn’t a big-time shot-blocker, but he is usually in good position. His presence also allows Anthony Tolliver to come off the bench. And Tolliver coming off the bench and being a three-point shooter is why the team got him.
Him being on the court also makes it easier for Hassan Whiteside to play defense.
Where to Go From Here
Collins is going to be out at least past the trade deadline. With Pau Gasol increasing his activity but still being possibly a couple of weeks from playing, and Jusuf Nurkic out until at least 2020, Portland is thin in the frontcourt.
The frontcourt was viewed as a potential strength coming into the season, but that’s not the case now. On Saturday when Whiteside missed the game with a knee injury, Mario Hezonja had to start in the frontcourt.
Skal Labissiere has given Portland some good minutes off the bench, but now he is being thrust into a bigger role.
This news will make it tough to maneuver for Neil Olshey and the front office. While Collins is being re-evaluated in four months, there’s no guarantee he comes back at all this season.
Many thought Portland was poised to make a move at the trade deadline. That seems almost like a necessity at this point.