Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. has been absent for the past nine games and will miss Tuesday's contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to the NBA's COVID-19 protocols.
Denver coach Michael Malone gave fans some good news on Monday, though, when he explained that Porter could return to the active roster ahead of Friday's game at the Phoenix Suns.
"Of course we miss Michael," Malone said, per The Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "He's a big part of what we're trying to do here. When we do get him back, he will be a welcome sight."
Porter recorded 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 125-115 loss to the Sacramento Kings back on Dec. 29 but hasn't played since that game. He averaged 19.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in his first four outings before he became unavailable for selection.
The Nuggets lost four of their first five games and now sit at 6-7 overall.
"You always want to be whole as a team,'' Malone added. "Not only are you whole, but you have a really talented player who's a big part of your current team and also your future as an organization.''
As of early Monday evening, the NBA has postponed 15 total games because of coronavirus-related setbacks since the season began on Dec. 22.