Trail Blazers

Blazers just waiting for Nurkic and McCollum to be cleared by team doctors and trainers

Trail Blazers
Getty Images

The highly anticipated return of Trail Blazers starters CJ McCollum(left midfoot fracture) and Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) has become a big focus around Portland.

With McCollum cleared to practice right before the All-Star break, he put in the most work on the court that he has done throughout his entire rehab during Friday’s practice in Minneapolis.  

McCollum did some one-on-one work Friday, but Nurkic "was limited" because he is dealing with a "calf that's bothering him," as Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said Friday.

[Subscribe to the Talkin' Blazers Podcast]

 There is still no official timeline or return date for either player. 

Just hours before tip-off on Saturday, Stotts gave the latest update on the two injured starters.

We are just waiting for them to clear medical and [health & performance] -- that they say they are ready to go. When they say they are ready to go, they will play, I don't need to see anything.

Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

Pregame Saturday, Nurkic got up a few shots:  

As for McCollum, he continues to progress with his on-court work.


“I thought it was a positive workout. I think he felt good about it. He’s a little sore today. But, I think, it’s kind of what you expect after having not played for a while,'' Stotts added.  Portland will also be without Harry Giles (left calf strain) Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) when the Blazers take on the T-Wolves.

For Minnesota  Jarrett Culver (left great toe; strain), D'Angelo Russell (left knee; surgery), Jordan McLaughlin (health and safety protocols) and Malik Beasley (league suspension) are out.

The Trail Blazers and Timberwolves tip-off at 5:00 p.m. PST on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.