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Lehigh’s CJ McCollum ‘unlikely’ to play in Patriot League tournament

Mar 6, 2013, 8:20 AM EDT

CJ McCollum AP

Bad news coming out of Bethlehem, PA, as it appears that CJ McCollum’s return during the Patriot League tournament is unlikely.

“It’s unlikely,” Brett Reed, the Mountain Hawks head coach, told CBSSports.com. “We are approaching this as if he won’t play in the tourney.”

McCollum was averaging 23.9 points and 5.0 rebounds when he broke a bone in his foot on January 5th against VCU. McCollum is a potential first round pick in this year’s NBA Draft, which would make rushing him back from this injury risky for his potential career-earning.

Lehigh plays Colgate in the opening round of the tournament on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to player the winner of the No. 2-No. 7 on Saturday.

McCollum’s injury was one of the more disappointing happenings this season. Lehigh, who knocked off Duke in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament, competed valiantly without McCollum in the lineup, but they couldn’t keep pace with Bucknell. The battle for Patriot League superiority between McCollum’s Lehigh team and Mike Muscala’s Bucknell team was one of the more intriguing storylines of mid-major hoops this season.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.