TUALATIN – Over the past few weeks, we have seen Jusuf Nurkic go through individual workouts, but it wasn’t until today when Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard shared the news that the Bosnian Beast was looking like himself in practice.
Nurk practiced full speed, contact, up and down, seeing him out there – like being himself and not looking like he was struggling – seeing Zach [Collins] out here right now, seeing how well Trev [Ariza] looked in practice – it just felt good. It was like… almost like a pick me up. I feel good about it. -- Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard on Jusuf Nurkc
Until now, Nurkic has only been seen doing individual workouts.
There is still no official word on his return to an NBA game, but this development is encouraging.
Now as Rip City awaits the Bosnian Beasts return, everyone is wondering will it be soon?
“I do” Lillard said of getting the sense that Nurkic is nearing his return.
Lillard added, “I’m not involved in the situation…. I’m not a doctor, I’m not inside his body, but he looked good to me.”
“I’ve seen him doing contact stuff, but he really looked good.”
Caleb Swanigan, who is now back with the team after Saturday’s trade has now become official, has banged up against Nurkic at practice many times.
Swanigan gave his thoughts on how Nurk was looking out there today:
“Nurk’s Nurk, man. He’s got a great feel for the game. He plays well. There was a couple of times when he lost the ball… Nurk looked good,” Swanigan said.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts told the media this was the first time Nurkic has gone through a practice like this.
“He went through the full practice. It was mostly half court stuff, but he went through everything… We did four-on-four, five-on-five half court stuff today. He’s been doing that with coaches and some of the younger guys, but this is the first time it was five-on-five… He looked fine.”
“He’s been progressing to this point. I guess, it’s a milestone, but it’s just part of his progression... It was hopeful that this week would be an opportunity for him to ramp up his workouts, but as far as anything else beyond that -- it’s too early to say,” Stotts added.
Nurkic wasn’t the only getting after it today.
Zach Collins went through an individual workout after practice.
Having both of the Trail Blazers big men looking more like themselves, is giving Lillard hope.
These developments are a welcomed sight in Rip City!