The old saying that Zach Collins can’t catch a break has reared its ugly head again. It’s not nearly as serious as the several knee injuries he suffered over the last few years, but it’s still something that seemingly can only happen to him.
Some might recall that there was a pause in play in the Spurs’ win over the Kings on April 2 after Collins suffered seemingly innocuous cut on his finger. He got it cleaned like always, returned to play, appeared in two more games, and all seemed fine. But then, he was sent home for the final two games of the season after his finger started swelling and becoming infected. If that isn’t unlucky enough, it got so bad he needed surgery to remove the infection.
A minor cut turned into a somewhat of a major problem for Zach Collins, who underwent surgery Saturday to repair his lacerated finger after it became infected"— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) April 12, 2023
"I was in the hospital overnight. It was just so much for something so small. It was crazy.”https://t.co/SdyAMEGdym
“All the bad stuff is out of it now, so now I just have to recover from the operation. They had to numb me up pretty good. I wasn’t completely out, but I was pretty loopy and couldn’t feel anything. They went in and pretty much flushed out all the infected stuff that was in the finger and now it is just healing. … I was in the hospital overnight. It was just so much for something so small. It was crazy.”
He also confirmed that he jammed two fingers on the play, but he doesn’t remember what actually caused the cut (someone’s fingernail, the ball etc.). Regardless, like he said, that’s a lot of treatment for what he and everyone else probably thought was an everyday cut that just needed medicine and a bandaid — until it wasn’t. And despite the relatively minor procedure, he hasn’t been cleared to return to basketball activities yet but his hoping to after his next checkup on Thursday.
Still, despite the minor setback at the end of the season and some missed time early for a hairline leg fracture, Collins had a breakout season, especially after Jakob Poeltl was traded and he was given the starting center position. Since then, Collins averaged 16.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, all while bringing a new dimension to the starting unit with his ability to stretch the floor. His contract for $7.7 million is nonguaranteed next season, but considering Gregg Popovich has already confirmed he will be the starting center next season, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back.
As an added bonus, he may have also given his own hint that Pop will be back as well:
“We’ll be coming in with a different mindset next year, especially defensively,” he said. “I love who we have on this team right now, and whoever we add in the summer, I know the organization will grab people who will complement who we already have. And with the way we are coached, I am super optimistic.”