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Blazers C Jusuf Nurkic exits game with fractured wrist

Jack Baer
·Writer
·2 min read
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It’s been three years since Jusuf Nurkic played a full NBA season without dealing with a major injury. The streak now looks set to continue this year.

The Portland Trail Blazers center exited Thursday’s game against the Indiana Pacers with an apparent hand injury, and the team soon announced that he had sustained a right wrist fracture.

The severity of the fracture is unknown, though it seems certain that Nurkic will miss more than just the ending of Thursday’s game. Time missed due to wrist fractures is usually measured in weeks in the NBA, not days.

Here’s the play in which Nurkic appeared to sustain the injury:

While defending the paint, the big man took a swipe at the ball on a drive from Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, and immediately started looking at his wrist. He then had to guard against another drive, eventually falling to the floor on the same arm.

Nurkic is almost two years removed from the gruesome leg injury that prematurely ended his 2018-19 season and took out most of his 2019-20 season as well. A compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula kept him off the court until the NBA’s reboot at Disney World in 2020, where he would play only eight games before the end of the Blazers’ season.

Through 11 games this season, Nurkic was averaging 10.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, shooting 50.5 percent from the field. With Zach Collins still out indefinitely following ankle surgery, the Blazers will have to lean on Enes Kanter and Harry Giles to patrol the point if Nurkic has to miss significant time.

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) makes a pass during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Monday, Dec 28, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Losing Jusuf Nurkic would be a massive blow for the Blazers. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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