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Friday, March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024

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Blazers continue to work through the pain

Batum, McCollum say they are ready for Game 1 Sunday

By , Columbian Trail Blazers Writer

TUALATIN, Ore. — Before the Portland Trail Blazers took off to Memphis to start their first round series against the Grizzlies, they got one last workout in at their practice facility.

For some of the team’s many injuries, there was clarity while the status of others remains shrouded in mystery.

Forward Nicolas Batum, who suffered a bruise in his right knee on an awkward landing in the team’s second to last game of the season, said that he went through a three hour workout and expects to play in Game 1.

“I really tested the knee,” Batum said. “I’ll be OK for Sunday.”

CJ McCollum, too, went through a vigorous workout, cutting hard in his injured left ankle.

McCollum said that he is ready to go for Game 1 on Sunday as well.

Of course, the other injury that hangs over the Blazers is that of shooting guard Arron Afflalo.

Afflalo’s rehab workouts were mostly kept out of sight from reporters on Friday, save for some brief shooting workouts that he did under the supervision of Blazers’ director of player health and performance, Chris Stackpole.

Afflalo’s shooting took place while most of the gathered reporters were distracted by the photo opportunity of Wesley Matthews taking shots while wheeling around on a scooter as he continues to recover from a ruptured left Achilles.

But Afflalo’s shooting session did not last long.

He didn’t take a shot from outside of three feet and could be seen grimacing as he walked off the court with Stackpole after a session that lasted no longer than five minutes.

It didn’t appear to be positive for Afflalo’s Game 1 status though he was drenched in sweat immediately after reporters were left into practice.

Matthews was made available to reporters while Afflalo was not.

Head coach Terry Stotts said there was no update on Afflalo other than that he was “rehabbing.”

Afflalo was ruled out for 1-2 weeks on April 10.

Stotts said that back-up big man Chris Kaman is “fine” after sitting out the season finale in Dallas but admitted that the Blazers didn’t do a whole lot of live action stuff as a group.

“Hopefully he keeps getting better,” Stotts said.

Columbian Trail Blazers Writer