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Unlucky Lehigh prepares for life without preseason All-American C.J. McCollum in league play

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    FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2012, file photo, Lehigh's C.J. McCollum sits on the bench midway through the second half after being injured during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against VCU in Richmond, Va. The star guard who helped the Mountain Hawks pull off a stunning NCAA tournament upset of Duke last year could miss the rest of this season with a left foot injury. (AP Photo/The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Joe Mahoney, File) (The Associated Press)

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    Lehigh's C.J.McCollum tries to get around a VCU defender during first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Richmond, Va., Sat. Jan 5, 2013. (AP Photo/The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Joe Mahoney) (The Associated Press)

Lehigh guard and preseason All-American C.J. McCollum may not return this season from a left foot injury if it means risking a potentially lucrative future in the NBA.

McCollum had surgery Tuesday after hurting the foot during a game last week against Virginia Commonwealth. The senior who helped the Mountain Hawks pull of a stunning upset of Duke last year in the NCAA tournament could be sidelined eight to 10 weeks.

That timeline would make McCollum available for the Patriot League tournament.

But coach Brett Reed said the hope was to get McCollum fully healed "to reduce all chances of future injury" and ensure career longevity. He said McCollum's future takes precedence over a speedy recovery, so he's preparing for conference play as if his star guard won't be back.