Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig suffered a gruesome injury during the second quarter of Game 2 against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. He broke his nose and had to be helped back to the locker room.
There was a lot of blood, and initially, it looked like he was done for the game. But somehow, Craig returned in the third quarter wearing a protective mask, and he received loud cheers from the Denver crowd:
All love for Torrey Craig (broken nose) as he checks back in! 💪🙏#MileHighBasketball#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/O7x0qH5nd2
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 2, 2019
Another scary moment happened in the fourth quarter, as Blazers center Enes Kanter was pushed into Craig, who then fell down to the floor:
Gary Harris comes to Torrey Craig's defense after Enes Kanter knocks him down
Double technical called on Harris and Kanter pic.twitter.com/iGc4y1uG8U
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 2, 2019
The Nuggets lost the game, 97-90, but Craig’s inspired comeback was a silver lining. His return from injury defines the Nuggets as a whole, as they have been a resilient team throughout the course of the regular season.
The second-year forward finished with seven points and four rebounds while playing 20 minutes in Game 2.
It is unclear if Craig’s injury will force him to sit out Game 3, especially since he suffered a nasal contusion. A protective mask has allowed players in the past to play with a broken nose, so there’s a possibility that he could suit up for the Nuggets on Friday as the series shifts to Portland.
Craig is one of the Nuggets’ more reliable defenders, and his absence could hurt the team. However, if he does play, he could risk re-injuring his nose, which could cause more harm than good.
It will all depend on how Craig will respond to treatment between now until Friday, but expect the Nuggets to closely monitor his playing time.