The Trail Blazers took a big hit when Zach Collins dislocated his shoulder.
Now, we have a better idea just how large this setback will be.
Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins underwent successful surgery today to repair his left labrum, it was announced by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.
The injury occurred when Collins dislocated his left shoulder at the 2:01 mark of the third quarter in Portland’s game at Dallas on October 27.
Collins will begin a treatment and rehabilitation process and will be re-evaluated in approximately four months.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Evan Ellis
Trying to build on last season’s run to the Western Conference finals, the Trail Blazers signed guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to big contract extensions last summer. This wasn’t the follow-up campaign Portland had in mind.
Portland is just 3-4, and the frontcourt in front of Lillard and McCollum has been a mess.
Anthony Tolliver has been starting for Collins at power forward. But Tolliver, 34, has shown major signs of decline the last two seasons. Overextending him for months only invites more problems.
Collins was also playing center behind Hassan Whiteside with Jusuf Nurkic sidelined an extended period. Third center Pau Gasol, 39, hasn’t been healthy all season. The Trail Blazers have been so desperate, they used Mario Hezonja as a nominal center.
Skal Labissiere must step up. The young big has raw tools. Portland has no choice but to lean on him through his ups and downs.
The Trail Blazers are short on small forwards. So, there aren’t many clear options to slide down. Rodney Hood at power forward? Don’t be surprised to see it. Portland lineups could get tiny.
Of course, the Trail Blazers could seek outside reinforcements. They’ve been frequently linked to the Cavaliers’ Kevin Love. The Thunder’s Danilo Gallinari is another logical possibility.
If Portland wants to meet its original goals for this season, a move might be necessary.