“It’s hard to give hope because there is no dates (for my return), so it’s hard to talk about anything,” Nurkic said. “I have no dates, so all the rumors, they don’t make sense. People are going to say (he’s coming back) today, tomorrow, next week, a week later … but I have no dates.”
Nurkic, who has spent the season recovering from the left leg fractures he sustained last March, returned to practice last month and appeared to be nearing a return to game action. However, he was diagnosed with a right calf strain following that first workout, and it’s unclear whether he has resumed practicing since then, Quick writes.
The big man made it clear that he still needs more practice time, something that can be hard to come by during the NBA season — teams like the Blazers conduct fewer full practices and scrimmages between games in order to avoid overworking players.
“All I know is I’m trying to figure out how I can get more practices, because we don’t have many practices,” Nurkic told Quick. “That’s the only thing I can tell you. That’s the only reason I can come back: If I find somehow to practice. … I can’t be out 11 months and just jump in a game; it doesn’t work out that way.”
The Blazers are still just three games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, and as long as they remain in the hunt, Nurkic figures to continue pushing to return in the coming weeks. However, if Portland slumps and starts to fall out of the postseason race, it’s fair to wonder whether getting Nurkic back on the court this season will continue to be a priority for the club.
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To qualify for the list, a player had to appear in at least half the games (41) for the team listed.