After suffering a right wrist fracture on Thursday night, Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic will undergo surgery and will be sidelined for at least the next eight weeks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
The injury happened during the third quarter of Thursday’s game vs. the Pacers, apparently occurring when Nurkic swiped at the ball as Malcolm Brogdon drove to the basket. It’s the second major injury in the last two years for the 26-year-old, who missed most of last season due to a significant leg fracture.
The timeline reported by Charania would result in Nurkic missing the rest of the first half of the 2020/21 season, which ends on March 4 — the second half begins on March 11, eight weeks from yesterday. The Trail Blazers have 25 games on their schedule between now and then, so their starting center would miss over a third of the season, assuming all those games can be played without postponements.
Nurkic’s absence will also cost him a $1.25MM bonus, as we outlined earlier today. In order to earn that bonus, he needed to appear in at least 62 games, which won’t happen.
With Nurkic and fellow big man Zach Collins (ankle) on the shelf, Portland figures to lean more heavily on big men Enes Kanter and Harry Giles. The Blazers have an open spot on their 15-man roster, as well as an open two-way contract slot, so they could consider signing another center for depth purposes.