The Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic exited on a stretcher after suffering an obvious severe left leg injury in a double overtime win against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. Jusuf was jumping for a rebound and landed awkwardly in a tangle of bodies under the basket. Soon after hitting the ground, Brooklyn’s players sprinted away when they saw the severity of the injury.
The Moda Center went silent in a moment as the Blazers’ medical personnel quickly ran to Nurkic and managed to get him off the court with the help of stretcher and a few Blazers -Damian Lillard, Rodney Hood, and Al-Farouq Aminu.
Nurkic’s injury is a massive blow to the Blazers, who have been playing well in a recent couple of weeks despite a knee injury to star guard CJ McCollum but this setback could be a season-defining one. Considering that the Bosnian will be forced to miss the remainder of the campaign, Portland is left with Enes Kanter at the center and Zach Collins.
Jusuf Nurkic, 24, is averaging 15.4 points and 10.3 rebounds in 71 games this year. He ended Monday’s game with 32 points and 16 rebounds before this nasty injury, while Portland managed to beat the resilient Brooklyn Nets following two overtimes, 148-144.
The ESPN’s Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski acknowledged how crucial Jusuf Nurkic’s injury will turn out to be for the playoff-bound Blazers as he shared his thoughts on his Twitter account.
Massive blow for Nurkic and Blazers. His finest season — and best career-scoring night w/ 32. As Thunder slide, Blazers were positioning to make deep playoff run. Late-season injuries hounding Portland in recent years. Brutal night in Rip City. Stotts on Nurkic: "Devastating."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 26, 2019
The Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts says Nurkic is at a local area hospital and doesn’t have much to say from there. Calls it “devastating” and described the locker room as “quiet.”
Portland did clinch the playoff spot with this win but it’s going to be hard to even think about reaching the second round with player of such qualities on the sidelines and this injury could seal the Blazers’ fate this season.