Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr Closer To Return Than Jamal Murray

The Nuggets have been minus two starters and key contributors in small forward Michael Porter Jr. and shooting guard Jamal Murray, though at least one could return before the end of the season.Michael Porter Jr

That would be none other than Porter, who is closer to playing again than is Murray, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Porter was expected to miss the season after spinal surgery, but reportedly has been progressing well.

Meanwhile, Murray suffered a torn ACL in game against the Warriors last April. A return from such an injury generally takes anywhere from 12-15 months. At the time of the injury, Murray was averaging 21.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds.

Porter, 23, is 6-foot-10 and averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in nine appearances this season. He exited the Nov. 9 game vs. the Rockets with the back injury — though it likely was nagging for a while before that.

The No. 14 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Porter missed his most of his only college season and all of his rookie season after back surgeries. 

He averaged career-highs of 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in 61 games last season, arguably his best yet.

Nuggets guard./forward Will Barton told Singer the team is excited about the possibilities of adding Porter and Murray back to the rotation.

“Obviously, we’re missing two great players,” Barton told Singer. “We’ll welcome them back, but we gotta focus on what’s going on in the present. … When we get the word that they’re coming back, we’ll take it from there.”

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