Rip City has missed having ‘Nurk Fever’ more than ever this season.
As Jusuf Nurkic continues to rehab his left leg, this week, fans have been treated to videos of Nurk working out.
Saturday, Nurkic spoke with the media for the first time this season since Blazers Media Day at the end of September.
“I’m right where I want to be... Pain-free,” Nurkic told reporters.
The Blazers 7-footer says he feels that he is about “60 percent.”
After talking with the media in Phoenix following Saturday's practice, it was clear that Nurk is not just focused on getting healthy, but also coming back better than ever.
I’m not expecting myself to just do the rehab; I want to get better, so I want to get better as a player, better as a person. I see a lot of things differently from the court, from the bench, and in the locker room… I’ve been there, like a totally different person to see the different perspective and I feel like I can help even more. -- Trail Blazer center Jusuf Nurkic
Nurk and the Blazers have not established a timeline for his return. Previous reports of a return around the All-Star Break were not confirmed by the Trail Blazers big.
It’s all about being smart at this point.
“Trying to listen to my team and doctors, and everybody around me to do the right way… I just need to be smart with my decisions,” Nurkic said.
As the Bosnian Beast gave updates to reporters, he stopped himself to make sure he took time to thank all the Trail Blazers fans who have been supporting him during his recovery.
“Thanks everybody who did the support of my injury. I mean, with the Billboard and stuff, it mean a lot to me. Knowing the people want to see my practice and stuff."
Nurkic added, “I want to be healthy when I’m done playing basketball.”
But the 25-year-old said he still has a lot of “check marks” to get to before he can get back on the court.
“It’s important for me to be really smart with what I’m doing,” Nurkic said.
For the big fella it’s all about perspective right now:
Mentally is going to be okay. I’ve been through a lot, like all the people in the world going through some hard times, but I feel like it’s nothing compared to the people on the street, compared to the people who don’t have no money to live.
As Nurk takes it “day-by-day,” the Blazers are looking at a 10-16 record, and even if he is making sure not to rush his rehab, that doesn’t mean he isn’t extremely eager to get back out there.
I feel hungry… When I’m with the team I feel even more hungry. I lost some weight and I feel great, more explosive, more quick. I just feel like when the day comes, I’m going to be the double beast.
Nurkic has lost about 10 pounds as he works to be 'The Double Beast.' Envisioning a quicker more agile Bosnian Beast will make fans even more eager to see his return.
Nurkic recognizes that fans are not happy with the Blazers' start of this season. He wants everyone to know that he has to do what is best for everybody involved.
“I understand people are disappointed, but injuries suck, man, and they’re part of the job, part of the life, and I think for me I need to do whatever is best for me and for the team.”