Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is as close to playing as he's been since the night of Dec. 29.
ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk reported on Thursday that Porter is questionable to return to action for Friday's game at the Phoenix Suns. Porter hasn't played since he recorded 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 125-115 loss to the Sacramento Kings back on Dec. 29, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the 22-year-old has been cleared from the NBA's health and safety protocols.
Denver coach Michael Malone said Porter must still pass a cardio exam to return to the lineup.
"Once you clear and you start returning negative tests, that is a big part of it, but then there's a cardio aspect of it you have to pass," Malone explained. "... Once all that comes back into play, hopefully he will be able to play at some point on this trip. If it's tomorrow, great. If not, hopefully sometime soon after."
Porter averaged 19.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in his first four outings before he was indefinitely ruled out. The Nuggets lost four of five games to start the season but improved to 7-7 overall with a 119-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.
Denver also plays at Phoenix on Saturday.