The Portland Trailblazers have ruled out Zach Collins for the remainder of the NBA season. Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the forward is having season-ending ankle surgery.
This is a huge blow to the Blazers. They are in the midst of a first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers. Collins was injured in the play-in game versus the Memphis Grizzlies and has missed both first-round games. The initial report was Collins would be re-evaluated after Game 5. However, the Blazers determined the injury would require further help.
Portland described the injury as a hairline medial malleolus stress fracture, according to the team. While not the most serious of ankle injuries, it is an injury that must be addressed before it gets worse. Collins missed the majority of the season before the bubble, only playing in 11 games after having surgery at the beginning of the 2020 season.
While the Blazers’ chances against the first seed Lakers were already slim, Collins season-ending injury may be the nail in the coffin. The Blazers still have Hassan Whiteside, Jusuf Nurkic, and Wenyen Gabriel. However, playing Nurkic and Whiteside together has had mixed results, and the inexperienced Gabriel is not ready to handle a player like the caliber of Anthony Davis.
While Collins will most likely be ready for the start of next season, his contributions to the Blazers for the remainder of the playoffs are over.