The Denver Nuggets got off to a hot start to the season, but as injuries have piled up, they have fallen off pace with the top teams in the West and, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this team will be back at full strength any time soon.
Michael Porter Jr. has missed the last 10 games with a back injury, which was concerning given his history of back issues from college, and on Monday the decision was made for the young star wing to have surgery, with no timetable immediately given, as Adrian Wojnarowski relayed word from Porter’s agent.
Surgery will be Wednesday, Bartelstein said. Porter Jr., made a full recovery from a back procedure prior to NBA, and that's expected to be case again. Denver starts a 7-game trip in Miami tonight. Nuggets (9-10) have been without three max players: Murray, Jokic and Porter.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 29, 2021
While a timetable will be worked out after surgery, per Shams Charania, the Nuggets are expecting to be without Porter Jr. for the remainder of the season, taking a cautious approach to his return after inking him to a max extension this offseason.
Sources: Denver forward Michael Porter Jr. is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to back surgery. Tough blow, but with Porter’s five-year extension kicking in next season, he and the Nuggets take big-picture approach to his health.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 29, 2021
That is obviously a big blow to a Denver team that was hoping to be a contender in the West once they got fully healthy late in the season. Now, one must wonder whether this will end up simply being a lost season for the Nuggets, who will be without Jamal Murray for most of the season as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered last April. Nikola Jokic has likewise missed time with a wrist injury, but could return as soon as Monday night as he’s listed as questionable. Still, being down two of your top three players, plus losing guard depth with PJ Dozier tearing his ACL last week puts the Nuggets in a very difficult spot, already sitting in 10th in the West at 9-10, nearly a quarter of the way into the season.