Jusuf Nurkic makes some big gains, teases impending return

Lindsey Wisniewski
NBC Sports Northwest

When the NBA returns in late July, Jusuf Nurkic is expected to suit up for the Trail Blazers for the first time in 12-plus months.  

It's a moment the 7-foot Bosnian Beast and Trail Blazers fans have been awaiting since Nurk suffered a compound fracture in his tibia last year.

Nurkic has been teasing out his return to the court for some time, and honestly, why stop now?

In a photo on Instagram Monday, the Blazers center flexes his muscles while racking up big gains in the weight room. Also, if Nurk wearing a shirt of himself while getting in a sweat sesh isn't a vibe, we don't know what is. 

"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose," Bosnian Beast said in the caption. 

Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

It's been over a year since Nurkic suffered a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula late in a home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Mar. 25, 2019.

He was targeting March 15th as his debut game before the coronavirus pandemic shut the NBA's doors four days earlier when Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. 

Now that a plan is in place to resume the 2019-20 season inside of the Disney World bubble, both Nurkic as well as Zach Collins will have an opportunity to take the court. Collins dislocated his shoulder last October, just three games into the season, and underwent surgery.  

Trail Blazers Stotts is looking forward to getting his two defensive anchors back in the rotation

When you add two guys like Zach and Nurk and what they can contribute at the defensive end, and let's face it, that's where our struggles were this year. I know everybody likes to talk about offense and passing, and [when] they're analyzing players -- they always analyze their offense first, but the reality is that our defense wasn't very good, our defensive rebounding wasn't very good, our pick and roll defense was average at best. So, there was a lot of room to grow defensively and when you add two experienced defensive players you would think that we would be better at the defensive end. -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts on Trail Blazers Courtside 

For now, the countdown for both Nurkic and Collins' return to the court awaits. 

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Jusuf Nurkic makes some big gains, teases impending return originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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