New Orleans Pelicans' CJ McCollum out with collapsed lung

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder

CJ McCollum, the veteran in the Pelicans backcourt averaging 21.7 points a game this season, is going to be out with a collapsed lung, the team announced.

The Pelicans said McCollum was diagnosed with a "small pneumothorax in his right lung" after medical imaging. How long he is out largely depends on the severity of the collapse but it could be anywhere from a couple of weeks to the 18 games McCollum missed in 2021 with the same injury.

McCollum himself seems to be in good spirits about the injury.

"Small" here means that the lung didn't completely collapse, however, air in the chest cavity filled the space around the lung and caused it to shrink some. This is an injury more commonly seen in contact sports such as football and hockey.

The Pelicans are off to a 4-2 start this season and McCollum is an integral part of that, averaging 21.7 points per game while shooting 38% from 3, plus adding 5.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Injuries have plagued the Pelicans the past couple of years, and while Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have been spared so far this season McCollum joins Trey Murphy (knee surgery), backup point guard Jose Alvarado (sprained ankle) and center Naji Marshall (knee) on the injured list.