The Denver Nuggets will be without the services of a major contributor for the foreseeable future. One day after the team took down the Utah Jazz in the first game of their playoff series thanks to Herculean efforts from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported that Will Barton will not suit up for the Nuggets any time soon.
According to Singer, the knee issues that have held Barton out for the entirety of Denver’s stay in the NBA’s Orlando Bubble will sideline him indefinitely. It is unclear exactly what is wrong — he’s been listed as having “right knee soreness” in each game that he’s missed, but Singer brings word that this will keep Barton out for the “foreseeable future,” an ominous sign for his prospects of coming back any time soon.
Barton is not the only major injury that has fallen upon the Nuggets, as Gary Harris has not been able to suit up in the Bubble due to a hip issue that is slated to keep him out of Game 2 against the Jazz. In their absence, Michael Porter Jr. has emerged as an effective perimeter scorer, but obviously getting both Barton and Harris healthy and performing at the level they’re capable of achieving would be a gigantic boost for Denver going forward.
Barton started all 58 games he appeared in this season for the Nuggets, averaging 15.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 33 minutes a night.
UPDATE: Barton has now reportedly left the Bubble to continue his rehab at home, per Singer. That would seem to all but assure he will not make a return during the Utah series and, possibly, signals the end of his season.