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Olshey: Jusuf Nurkic on “Great Trajectory” to Return to Play

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During exit interviews, the Trail Blazers executive shares optimistic news about the starting center, preaching patience.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Five Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey addressed Portland media during the team’s exit interviews today. During the course of conversation, Olshey gave an update on the health of injured center Jusuf Nurkic, who fractured his leg on March 25th of this year in a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Here’s a transcript of Olshey’s comments on Nurkic, along with the video below.

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Olshey: Right now we’re in the strengthening mode, getting his functional movements better. We’ll have updates for you guys throughout the off-season, whenever he meets those benchmarks and we adjust the timeline.

Reporter: Is he ahead of schedule? Just seeing him walk around like that...

Olshey: It’s subjective. Like Terry [Stotts] said, there are going to be peaks and valleys. He’s going to hit some roadblocks at times in terms of when the next one comes. Thankfully, so far to date, he’s on a great trajectory in terms of return to play. He’s only 24 years old. He’s a foundational piece going forward. He’s on a long-term deal. We’re not going to sacrifice anything in his recovery, in his PT [physical therapy], just to get him on the court faster.

Reporter: Give us a general idea of when basketball-related activities will...

Olshey: I don’t know right now. We’ve been focused on this is the first step: getting back him up and moving, getting the symmetry back between both legs. When we’re doing draft workouts or during free agency we’ll all get together and if we have an update, we’ll let you know.