Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic slams rumor that he could return soon
The 25-year-old Bosnian center made it clear on Wednesday that he still has ways to go before returning to the court after suffering a harrowing injury last March where he sustained a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula.
ESPN’s Marc J. Spears hinted that Nurkic is “a little bit closer than possible” fuelling speculations that he could return for the struggling Blazers this year.
The 7’0 bruiser denied the claims, tweeting “No Nurk in 2019”.
— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) November 20, 2019
Nurkic broke his leg during the second overtime of the Blazers’ 148–144 win over the Brooklyn Nets last March. He had 32 points and 16 rebounds at the time of the injury.
Nurk has given Portland a legitimate anchor in the pain since joining the team around the trade deadline of the 2016-17 NBA season. Portland rewarded him with a four-year $48M deal last year. He was averaging career-highs in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (10.4) last season before the injury.
Without the Bosnian Beast patrolling the paint, the Blazers have struggled exponentially to start the year, winning only four of their first 12 games.
The team is once again having trouble getting production from their bigmen, after Zach Collins injured his shoulder and is expected to be out for a significant amount of time.
The Blazers’ offseason trade acquisition Hassan Whiteside has been underwhelming so far, while they recently just waived six-time All-Star Pau Gasol.
Nurk did not specifically ruled out that he will be out for the entire season, and Portland fans are still praying for his return sometime next year.