An X-ray of the left foot of Lehigh Mountain Hawks’ star guard C.J. McCollum taken Sunday confirmed the team’s fears: He has a broken bone – the fifth metatarsal – in his left foot.
The All-American is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks of play as a result of the injury, according to a Lehigh news release.
At best, that means McCollum could be back to play in Lehigh’s final regular season game, at Stabler Arena, against Army on March 2. At worst – unless Lehigh can pick up an NCAA Tournament berth without its best player, McCollum has played his last game as a Mountain Hawk.
“We are going to make sure C.J. is fully recovered and will place the highest priority on quality of care,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “We’ll be certain the injury has healed properly before full activity is resumed. C.J. is a wonderful leader and he’ll continue to help the team in every way possible. He has a bright future of basketball ahead of him.”
McCollum suffered the injury during Lehigh’s game Saturday at Virginia Commonwealth University, leaving the court with more than five minutes left in the first half. When he got to the Lehigh bench in the second half – on crutches and wearing a wrap around his left foot – he could be seen mouthing the words to a teammate: “I broke my foot.”
A projected first-round lottery pick in the NBA draft, McCollum was leading the NCAA in scoring entering Saturday’s game against VCU.
McCollum passed up a chance to enter the 2012 NBA draft to stay at Lehigh for his senior year.
ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla tweeted on Sunday he’d “be stunned if this injury affects draft status. Teams know his game.” There were more than 30 NBA scouts at Saturday’s VCU game.