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Former Gonzaga forward Zach Collins sidelined with ankle injury

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 19, 2020

Portland’s Zach Collins, right, and Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen compete for a rebound during an Aug. 13 game in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Associated Press)
Portland’s Zach Collins, right, and Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen compete for a rebound during an Aug. 13 game in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Associated Press)

Zach Collins missed Portland’s Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers and he’ll be a spectator again for Thursday’s second game.

The former Gonzaga forward suffered an ankle injury early in Portland’s play-in win over Memphis on Saturday and he missed the Trail Blazers’ 100-93 Western Conference playoff win Tuesday over the top-seeded Lakers.

Collins was listed with left ankle inflammation, but a follow-up MRI Wednesday showed Collins has a left ankle malleolar stress reaction, a precursor to a stress fracture that sometimes can require surgery.

The Trail Blazers said Collins will be re-evaluated in one week, which suggests the 7-footer is unlikely to be available for Game 3 Saturday and Game 4 Monday. The fifth game is scheduled for Wednesday.

Collins, 22, had moved into the starting lineup in his third NBA season, but he suffered a dislocated shoulder injury in the third game. The season was suspended in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed in the Orlando, Florida, bubble in late July, giving Collins ample time to recover from his shoulder operation. Portland is 8-2 in Orlando.

Collins averaged 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 20 playoff games over the past two seasons.

The Las Vegas native averaged 10 points, 5.9 rebounds and 17.3 minutes per game as a freshman and was a key factor in Gonzaga’s run in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. He had 14 points and four blocks against Northwestern; 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks versus South Carolina; and nine points and seven boards vs. North Carolina in the championship game.

Other former Zags in the NBA playoffs include Miami’s Kelly Olynyk and Utah’s Nigel Williams-Goss. Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis (plantar fasciitis) hasn’t played since the season resumed. He hasn’t been ruled out of the playoffs, but he left Orlando for treatment.

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