Collins (shoulder) said last week that he remains optimistic he'll be cleared to play shortly after being re-evaluated in early March, Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian reports. "There's always going to be that feeling, that competitive itch, you always want to play," Collins said. "Not being able to play sucks, but I'm just trying to make the most of it. Hopefully, I get back out there soon."

After claiming the Trail Blazers' starting power forward job out of the preseason, Collins lasted just three games before dislocating his left shoulder Oct. 27 and requiring surgery. Collins took a small step forward last week by doing limited shooting and dribbling drills for the first time in two and a half months, but he still has multiple hurdles in the recovery process to clear before a return to game action can be considered imminent. After cycling through Mario Hezonja and Nassir Little as replacements in the lineup for Collins, Portland ultimately signed Carmelo Anthony in late November to fill the void on the top unit.

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