The injury bug has struck again, as the Denver Nuggets could lose another key player for an extended period. Jamal Murray tore his ACL late in the 2020-21 NBA season and is expected to be out until at least March 1, 2021.
While the Nuggets have managed without Murray so far, reports suggest that they might be losing Michael Porter Jr. as well. According to Denver Post:
"Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is dealing with a nerve issue in his back that could jeopardize his season."
Porter Jr. has been dealing with a lingering back issue since his college days. The 23-year-old has already undergone back surgery twice but has not been able to permanently fix the problem.
As it turns out, he has been playing through the pain since the start of this season, which explains, to an extent, the reason for his slow start. But with how severe things have gotten, the 14th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft has had to take time off the team to strengthen his back.
The Nuggets forward had his first back surgery in his first year in college, and the other after he was drafted, which resulted in him missing his entire rookie season. Since then, he has come back stronger and had an outstanding 2020-21 season. He was one of the favorites to win the NBA's Most Improved Player award, but unfortunately, he might be ineligible.
Head coach Michael Malone has not released specifics on the nature of his injury and his expected return. Porter Jr. has played nine games so far this season but has since been unavailable after re-aggravating his back injury while attempting a layup against the Houston Rockets on November 6.
League sources revealed that Porter Jr. has been under a treatment plan to strengthen his back, but it seems like the youngster is seeking other options. Losing another exciting talent for an extended period will be heartbreaking. Hopefully, the forward will find the right treatment and will be fit enough to play again.