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Mike Malone expects to have Paul Millsap back early/mid-March

Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone expects to have his starting power forward Paul Millsap back on the floor by early/mid-March, according to Harrison Wind of BSN Denver.

Millsap has been out with a torn ligament in his left wrist and was reported to be “a little bit ahead of schedule” in his recovery, as the Nuggets hope to have him back shortly after the All-Star break.

Malone and the rest of the coaching staff will have to use utmost caution to keep him healthy throughout the rest of the season, as the team will need him on the floor in order to make a postseason run in an ultra-competitive Western Conference.

Denver has run with a frontcourt combo of Mason Plumlee and Nikola Jokic, with Kenneth Faried considered purely a fringe bench player at the moment, racking up DNPs every other game. Trey Lyles has had a major impact in his absence, as a capable big man that can stretch the floor effectively.

The franchise acquired Millsap from the Atlanta Hawks in the offseason, an acquisition that was bound to make major strides in getting this team to the playoffs after having two of the league’s best passing big men playing in the same team.

Millsap has struggled to gel with this new offense and his unexpected injury has made the incorporation that much more of a challenge. He’s been working out with one hand for the time being, limited by the healing process.

“He’s still on that timeline,” Malone said of Millsap’s recovery. “So things are moving in the right direction.”