The Portland Trail Blazers have announced that big man Jusuf Nurkic will be out for eight weeks after having surgery to repair his fractured wrist.
Nurkic has had surgery to correct the fracture, but will miss eight weeks in this shortened season.
Not only does this impact the Blazers’ season in terms of their contention in a stacked Western Conference, but it adds to the list of injuries that the unlucky Nurkic has had. He has only played around 20 games since returning from the terrible broken leg injury he suffered two years ago.
The Blazers still have a strong squad around Nurkic, so they won’t fall off completely, but they will suffer defensively, and their ball movement will also be worse without him.
In terms of replacement options, they will likely start Enes Kanter in Nurk’s absence. He is familiar with the Blazers systems, and is actually a better fit in the starting unit than on the bench.
His offensive rebounding will be a massive help with the starters too.
They also have Harry Giles, who has only played sparingly this season, but can play significant minutes off the bench. He is an excellent passer and a better defender than Kanter, so he may make a difference with the bench unit, if he can play himself into form.
The Blazers do have one spare roster spot, so they could still add another big via trade or free agency. We have touched on some replacement big man options previously, albeit for Zach Collins.
We wish Nurk all the best in his recovery.