Pelicans’ McCollum suffers collapse in right lung

The New Orleans Pelicans announced that guard CJ McCollum has a small pneumothorax in his right lung after an imaging was performed Sunday morning.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a pneumothorax “occurs when air leaks into the space between your lung and chest wall. This air pushes on the outside of your lung and makes it collapse. A pneumothorax can be a complete lung collapse or a collapse of only a portion of the lung.”

This is the second time in McCollum’s career in which he has dealt with a pneumothorax. He had one with Portland diagnosed in December 2021. During that time, the team said he had fully recovered 2½ weeks after the initial diagnosis, but he didn’t return to play for another three weeks after that.

In total, McCollum missed 18 games that season. He returned on Jan. 17, 2022, and was traded to the Pelicans three weeks later.

The Pelicans said McCollum will undergo an additional examination in the next 48 hours to determine the process of healing and another update will be announced.

In six games this season, McCollum is averaging 21.7 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals for the Pelicans, who are off to a 4-2 start.

New Orleans has already dealt with its fair share of absences early this season. The team has yet to play with Trey Murphy (left meniscus), Jose Alvarado (right ankle sprain) and Naji Marshall (right knee contusion).

Brandon Ingram also missed three games with right knee tendinitis but returned Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks.