The Denver Nuggets have gotten off to a strong start in the Western Conference this season, and their 19-11 record currently has them in a tie for first place in the West with the Memphis Grizzlies. Even more surprising is that that hot start came with Michael Porter Jr. missing significant time, although it sounds like he is nearing a return to the court after a lengthy layoff.

Is Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. playing vs. Blazers?

Porter has been out for the past month for the Nuggets after picking up a heel contusion in Denver’s November 22nd contest against the Detroit Pistons. Porter’s absence was a big loss for the Nuggets, but they have managed to make due without him. And now, it seems like they will be set to get stronger as they attempt to take full control of the top spot in the West, as Porter says he will be taking the court on Friday night when the Nuggets take on the Portland Trail Blazers.

Via T.J. McBride:

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“Michael Porter Jr. said he is playing tomorrow and feels he has no restrictions.”

It is worth noting that Porter is still technically listed as questionable for the game, so he’s not fully out of the woods just yet. But if he is able to return to the court for Denver on Friday night, that would be a huge boost for them, as Porter had gotten off to a good start this season (16.4 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.3 APG, 46.6 FG%, 42.7 3P%) after missing virtually all of the 2021-22 season.

With Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray leading the way, the return of Porter could be exactly what the Nuggets need to leave the Grizzlies and the rest of the West in the dust in the standings. And while it’s not official, it looks increasingly likely that he will be making his return to the court on Friday night against Portland.