A report earlier this week suggested Nurkic could return sometime around the All-Star game in mid-February. Whenever it happens, Nurkic, who went through an on-court workout with assistant coaches today, can’t wait to start playing again.
“I feel hungry,” he said. “… And when I’m with the team, I feel even more hungry. I lost some weight, and feel great — more explosive, more quick — and when the day comes, I’m going to be the double Beast.”
Nurkic’s injury involved breaks to both his tibia and fibula and required surgeons to implant a graphite rod into his leg. He said he has been pain-free for the past eight months.
Nurkic has some perspective on injuries after undergoing surgery in 2015 to fix a torn patella tendon. He said that experience was more painful, but this one has helped him learn to handle grief, to motivate himself and to express appreciation to the people who have provided support.
“I’ve been through a worse injury before; this one just looked bad,” Nurkic said. “But I’m thankful to God to give me a second chance to play, and personally I feel like I’m growing as a person, appreciating the last year, even though basketball was taken away.”