With the Denver Nuggets in danger of falling in the play-in tournament, less than encouraging news has emerged regarding Jamal Murray’s rehab. Sunday night, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported that Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said Jamal Murray was “nowhere near” playing games.
With less than a month left in the regular season, this update from Malone seems to indicate that a return for Jamal Murray this season is increasingly unlikely. Teams are generally against bringing a player back from a long-term injury during a playoff setting, making a return during the regular season a typical requirement for players hoping to make the playoffs after a long absence due to injury.
When fully healthy, the Denver Nuggets expect to be Western Conference contenders; however, with the extended absences of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., there’s a legitimate chance they could miss the playoffs this season. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the rise and are currently only half a game behind Denver for the 6th seed in the Western Conference. If Minnesota passes Denver, the Nuggets would likely face the Los Angeles Clippers in that first qualifying game.
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Much remains to be determined, both with injuries to Murray and Porter Jr., as well as Denver’s standings positioning, but this latest update is not encouraging for the Nuggets.
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