Back in January, there was some speculation that C.J. McCollum might never suit up for Lehigh again. That was after he was on track to be back in time to play in the Patriot League Tournament which starts Wednesday.
The guard was going to evaluate his situation as the recovery from a broken foot continued, and possibly save his energy for preparing for the NBA Draft.
Based on comments from Lehigh head coach Brett Reed on the Monday league conference call, and in the months leading up until today, it seems more and more unlikely that McCollum will be taking the floor this week:
''I'm approaching our next game ... with the team that we played the regular season with,'' Reed said in a conference call. ''But (McCollum) continues to become more and more healthy.''
That does not sound like a ringing endorsement, especially considering that McCollum only recently was off his crutches and by all reports, had done little more than shoot free throws.
With Reed being so cautious, it looks less and less likely that the star will be on the floor. That doesn't bode well for the Mountain Hawks, who fell all the way to the No. 3 seed in the tournament after a late run by Lafayette.
That means that Lehigh will possibly have to face both the Leopards and Bucknell in the finals in order to get back to the NCAA Tournament. That is a tall order over a short schedule with no breaks even with McCollum at the helm.
Without him the Mountain Hawks are going to wish they had some extra wings.