If Lehigh is going to return to the NCAA tournament this season, last year's March darling may have to do it without its biggest star.
X-Rays confirmed the left foot injury C.J. McCollum suffered driving to the basket against VCU on Saturday is a fracture of his fifth metatarsal, USA Today first reported Sunday. McCollum is expected to miss 8 to 10 weeks, putting the rest of his senior season in jeopardy.
The best-case scenario for Lehigh would seem to be McCollum returning in time for the Patriot League tournament March 6-13. Asked via text message by Yahoo! Sports if that was McCollum's goal, his mother, Kathy Andrews, made it clear he will not rush back and risk further injury.
"Our goal is to get him 100 percent before he does anything else," she said.
A cautious approach for McCollum is probably wise considering what's at stake this spring. The 6-foot-3 guard, who entered Saturday averaging 25.7 points per game, is expected to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in June.
It will be tough for Lehigh to replace McCollum's production, but history suggests the Mountain Hawks wont be a pushover without him. They routed North Texas last month without McCollum and they challenged VCU deep into the second half despite losing their star before halftime.