Jusuf Nurkic Practices In Full, Inching Toward Return

Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is progressing toward a return from the serious leg injuries he suffered last March. Nurkic fully participated in practice on Wednesday, including a 5-on-5 halfcourt scrimmage, Jason Quick of The Athletic tweets.

“I guess it’s a milestone, but it’s part of his progression,’‘ head coach Terry Stotts said.

The team had targeted this week to increase his workload, but there’s still no definitive date for his return to action, Quick adds.

Nurkic, 25, was a major reason for Portland’s success in recent seasons. He was enjoying a career year, posting a career high 15.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.4 BPG before he suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula in a double-overtime win over the Nets on March 25.

The most recent report regarding a timetable indicated that Nurkic and the club were targeting a return close to the All-Star break next month.

Portland has been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season. Its 19-26 record ranks 10th in the Western Conference, though the Blazers are not far from the eighth and final playoff spot. Injuries to Zach Collins and Rodney Hood have factored into the severe drop-off after winning 53 games in the regular season a year ago and advancing to the Western Conference finals.

Nurkic’s return could certainly boost their prospects of returning to the postseason, though Hassan Whiteside (15.5 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 3.0 BPG) has been a solid replacement in the middle after being acquired from the Heat during the offseason.

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5 thoughts on “Jusuf Nurkic Practices In Full, Inching Toward Return

  1. phillyballers

    They need to pull the trigger before the deadline on a move that improves them next season. I had always hoped they would suck each year and trade Dame to Philly, but that ship sailed.

    Love makes a lot of sense as that Stretch-Big next to Nurkic. Injuries aside, they trade Whiteside straight up, with some sort of “pick compensation” so the Cleveland brass saves face. Already under contract, so no competing with other teams in a weak FA (opposed to dealing for a Gallinari). Griffin is too expensive. LMA reunion isn’t 100% out if the question. But Whiteside doesn’t fit the plan for next year, and they can use his salary to improve the roster. Role player route could be RoCo + Dieng (even tho he is terrible, ppl in the league seem to think he offers something).

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Dieng does have a really bad contract that the Wolves have tried to get rid of, but he is shooting 40% from 3-point range this season.

  2. TBeard1986

    Theres absolutely no precident for trading dame, frankly you would be an idiot too do so. If his game last year against okc in the semi’s wasnt proof enough, his 61 point game against golden state should be. He has carried portland for years and is a true leader,fan favorite and ultimately one of the most underrated players in nba history. I see this season like this.. We still have a chance at the playoffs. Keep Whiteside and once nurk is back start him at the 4. Our linup would be lillard 1, cj 2, mellow 3, nurk at the 4 and whiteside at the 5. Ultimately just like every year its our bench falling short and this year would be no different. Ariza as our 6th helps but without collins and hood we have almost 0 depth. Worst case scenario we keep our roster fail the playoffs with a slightly better draft pick and try again next year with a healthier roster. If anyones tradeable its cj. I knew this would be a bad year after free agency, mario, bazemore and tolliver while decent players do not fit as weve seen. They seemed like grabs too help with a 3 and d bench. Obviously thats not worked. And if we had gasol healthy it would have been tremendous but that too fell short.

  3. TBeard1986

    Theres absolutely no precident for trading dame, frankly you would be an idiot too do so. If his game last year against okc in the semi’s wasnt proof enough, his 61 point game against golden state should be. He has carried portland for years and is a true leader,fan favorite and ultimately one of the most underrated players in nba history. I see this season like this.. We still have a chance at the playoffs. Keep Whiteside and once nurk is back start him at the 4. Our linup would be lillard 1, cj 2, mellow 3, nurk at the 4 and whiteside at the 5. Ultimately just like every year its our bench falling short and this year would be no different. Ariza as our 6th helps but without collins and hood we have almost 0 depth. Worst case scenario we keep our roster fail the playoffs with a slightly better draft pick and try again next year with a healthier roster. If anyones tradeable its cj. I knew this would be a bad year after free agency, mario, bazemore and tolliver while decent players do not fit as weve seen. They seemed like grabs too help with a 3 and d bench. Obviously thats not worked. And if we had gasol healthy it would have been tremendous but that too fell short.Its likely a restart year, And dame is a blazer for life. If we traded him I would give up on portland for all of eternity.

  4. TBeard1986

    Sorry for the 2x post. Also I just noticed your a philly fan. As if philly would have a chance at dame. While I like philly theyre a team that has floundered on purpose for years and still have little chance of a championship. If anyone wins in the east this year its likely gonna be toronto again or of course milwaukie. Philly just isnt consistent enough and frankly they should have parted ways with embiid long ago, as a blazers fan I see him as an amazing player with too many injury issues ala greg oden, brandon roy, my favorite martell webster and our draft pick over Jordan whos name shall never be spoken in this town lol. Also phillys bench is too weak too be a true contender as well.

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