Due to a gruesome leg injury suffered last season, the Trail Blazers have competed without Jusuf Nurkic in the lineup. Following months of rehabilitation, it appeared that Nurkic was poised to rejoin Portland’s lineup for the final run of games after the All-Star break. Despite a sequence of positive updates earlier in the season, Nurkic revealed that his path back to court this season is murky at best.
After a period of silence on the subject from the Blazers, The Athletic’s Jason Quick finally received an update directly from Nurkic following Portland’s loss to Indiana on Thursday. In the brief exchange, the 25-year-old center revealed that there isn’t a clear target for his return.
“It’s hard to give hope because there is no dates (for my return), so it’s hard to talk about anything,” Nurkic said. “I have no dates, so all the rumors, they don’t make sense. People are going to say (he’s coming back) today, tomorrow, next week, a week later … but I have no dates.”
Nurkic continued by explaining that a lack of practices has impeded his progress.
“All I know is I’m trying to figure out how I can get more practices, because we don’t have many practices,” Nurkic said. “That’s the only thing I can tell you. That’s the only reason I can come back: If I find somehow to practice.”
The Blazers currently sit just outside of the Western Conference postseason picture with a 26-34 record. Nurkic, who averaged 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last season, is under contract through 2021-22.
You can read Quick’s full story at The Athletic (subscription required).