Portland Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic is dealing with a significant injury once again.
The Trail Blazers announced he suffered a fractured right wrist during Thursday’s 111-87 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Nurkic did not make his debut during the 2019-20 season until July 31 inside the Walt Disney World Resort bubble because of a serious leg injury he suffered in March 2019. He played just eight games last season but was a major reason Portland made the playoffs.
In fact, he averaged a double-double of 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 blocks a night in those eight games and then averaged a double-double of 14.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game during Portland’s first-round loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The hope for the Trail Blazers was Nurkic would carry over his strong play from the bubble and anchor the frontcourt throughout the 2020-21 campaign.
Instead, he is likely looking at a long recovery period while the team will once again be short-handed in the frontcourt and more reliant on its dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
That is especially the case because Hassan Whiteside is no longer on the roster, although the Trail Blazers can turn toward Enes Kanter, Harry Giles III and Robert Covington in the frontcourt while Nurkic is sidelined.
Still, this is a difficult blow for a Portland squad that is battling for positioning in the daunting Western Conference at 7-5.