Portland Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic appears on the fast track to recovery

PORTLAND, OR - MAY Jusuf Nurkic Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - MAY Jusuf Nurkic Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In the aftermath of Jusuf Nurkic’s gruesome injury, Portland Trail Blazers fans may find some respite in his apparent speedy recovery.

As we all know, the Portland Trail Blazers favorite big man Jusuf Nurkic suffered a devastating injury in a double overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets on March 25. The injury was described as a “sustained compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula”, and required surgery the following day.

The injury brought the Bosnian Beast’s promising season to a premature conclusion, leaving the Portland Trail Blazers handicapped. Without their crutch to lean on, the Blazers were exploited on the defensive end in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately for Portland, an injury this severe is extremely hard to set a time table for recovery and in the cases of Paul George and Gordon Hayward, can take up to two years to fully recover from.

Nurkic’s teammates and Portland fans were shocked by the injury, wishing him a speedy recovery and successful surgery.


Even opposing teams’ players reached out to send their regards and prayers, acknowledging this is a part of the game no one ever wishes to see.


However there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel for Nurkic after suffering such a tragic injury. Performance coach for the Blazers Ben Kenyon shared a video on Instagram granting some insight into Nurkic’s recovery.


Already appearing very nimble and light on his feet despite breaking his leg less than three months ago, perhaps Nurkic’s recovery is already ahead of schedule. This would be a huge development for the Portland Trail Blazers, who likely expected Nurkic to need the entire year recovering back to his full potential. The Blazers can now possibly save the money needed to find a replacement and let Zach Collins and Meyers Leonard shoulder the workload until Nurkic makes his return.


After acquiring Hassan Whiteside to help shoulder the load at center, the Blazers can take a little more precaution in regards to Nurkic’s recovery process. That being said, he already seems to be ahead of the curve.

Jeff Feinblatt (a local orthopedic surgeon that specializes in lower body injuries) helped specify the details of Nurkic’s injury during an interview with Colin Hoobler of The Oregonian.

"“This injury is typically treated with a rod placed within the larger bone (tibia). This allows early weight bearing, although healing of the bone can take four months or longer. One study found 88 percent of patients returned to sport (recreational and competitive) after treatment of a tibia fracture with a rod at an average of 41 weeks.” -Feinblatt"

Since Nurkic went down on March 25, he’s already proceeded past the excruciating early stages of rehabilitation. He has been walking for some time now, and has been working out to stay in basketball shape. Feinblatt’s suggested recovery timetable would slate Nurkic to be able to return as soon as early January. But it should be noted that diagnosis is for average people, not those that play an intensely competitive sport for a living.

Neil Olshey has repeatedly suggested the team is looking to bring Jusuf back in early February, which would give him a few extra weeks to recover and further mitigate the risk of another injury. That should also give him a few games to shake the rust off to decide whether they need to keep Whiteside around or if they can send Hassan out at February’s trade deadline for another star.

Video: Meyers Leonard lights up gym from 3-point range. dark. Next

More importantly, Portland’s next Western Conference Finals appearance may go down very differently with Nurkic on the court to anchor the defense and push the Blazers to their first NBA Finals since 1992.