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Charania: Jusuf Nurkic Targeting Return Around All-Star Break

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The Athletic NBA insider says Nurkic is “making positive strides in his rehab.”

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The anticipation for Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic to make his season debut is high. Nurkic, who is recovering from a left leg fracture suffered last March, already ruled out a return in 2019. In a Thursday morning Q&A, Shams Charania of The Athletic said that he’s heard Nurkic is hoping for a return around the February All-Star break:

I know the Blazers are being intentionally tight lipped, but is there any update on when we may see Jusuf Nurkic return to action? — Matthew B.

Yes, I’m told Nurkic is targeting a return close to the February All-Star break. It would be a major shot in the arm in the second half of the season for the Trail Blazers, who have Hassan Whiteside manning the center position for now. Nurkic, I’m told, is making positive strides in his rehab from the leg fracture he suffered late last season.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Zach Lowe speculated on a similar timetable for Nurkic’s return on his podcast with John Hollinger based on past recovery times for compound leg fractures.

Nurkic has not suited up for the Trail Blazers since fracturing his left tibia and fibula against the Brooklyn Nets on March 25.