Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey says big man Jusuf Nurkic is in great spirits and making great progress from the gruesome leg injury he suffered against the Brooklyn Nets on March 25.

Nurkic underwent season-ending surgery to repair compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula.


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Nurkic had a great regular season for the Blazers before he got hurt. The 7-footer averaged 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line. The 24-year-old recorded 36 double-doubles and one triple-double. The Blazers were 45-27 when Nurkic was in the lineup.

Many believe Portland could have competed better with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals if Nurkic was playing. Without DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors didn't have anyone who could have given Nurkic problems in the post. It's unfortunate Nurkic had to suffer the serious injury which he did, but everyone knows he's going to come back next season motivated.

Nurkic will make $12 million in 2019-20. The Blazers can't wait to get him back in the lineup next to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. If Portland re-signs Enes Kanter, they would have a lethal frontcourt duo of Nurkic and Kanter, who would come off the bench.