Pelicans’ CJ McCollum to make return from collapsed lung

New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum will return from his second lung injury in two years on Wednesday vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.CJ McCollum

McCollum just recently began practicing. The Pelicans were one of the eight teams to qualify for the In-Season Tournament knockout round.

has been out since early November with what the team called a small pneumothorax in his right lung — commonly known as a collapsed lung. This actually marks the second time he has dealt with a lung injury, the first being back in 2021, when he missed 18 games as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Before the injury, McCollum had been his usual productive self, averaging 21.7 points, 5.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds in six games. The Pelicans (9-9) have managed to stay afloat in his absence and currently sit in third place in the Southwest Division. Though as Woj noted, they’re just 5-7 without McCollum.

“I feel good. I’m in a really good spot,” McCollum told reporters last week. “I continue to increase my conditioning and add contact (in practice). … I’m looking forward to getting back out there. Not quite yet, I’m waiting on clearance from the doctor, but I should be getting cleared here pretty soon.”

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