Medical imaging revealed the small pneumothorax in his right lung Sunday. The team said that McCollum will undergo further testing to determine how severe the collapsed lung is, and what the process of healing will be. For now, though, McCollum will be sidelined indefinitely.
While a collapsed lung sounds scary, McCollum appeared to be taking the diagnosis well.
This is an insane pic to post with the news 😂 https://t.co/wcjiOKRvhh
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) November 5, 2023
It’s unclear what led to the lung injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, a pneumothorax can be caused by a blunt or penetrating chest injury, from underlying lung disease or for no obvious reason. McCollum’s right lung collapsed in 2021 after he sustained a rib injury in a game with the Portland Trail Blazers. It took him nearly three weeks to recover from that injury. It’s unclear if those injuries are related.
McCollum, 32, has averaged 21.7 points and 5.7 assists through six games with the Pelicans this season. He had 13 points and six assists in Sunday’s 123-105 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. McCollum, who is also the president of the National Basketball Players Association, averaged 20.9 points and 5.7 assists last season, his first full one with the Pelicans. He signed a two-year, $64 million extension with the Pelicans that will keep him in New Orleans through the 2025-26 season.
The Pelicans, who opened the season 4-2, will take on the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Assuming the recovery time is similar to his last collapsed lung, McCollum is looking at a return shortly after Thanksgiving.