Jusuf Nurkic, the centre for the Portland Trail Blazers, suffered several compound fractures to the fibula and tibia in his lower left leg during a double-overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets that took place on Monday evening and will, unfortunately, be out for the rest of the season.
Jusuf Nurkic’s Injury
Nurkic jumped for a rebound where he came down in a very awkward position in a tangle of bodies that occurred under the net. Once he hit the floor, the players from the Brooklyn Nets that were around him witnessed the severity of his injury and started sprinting away. The basketball arena immediately went into silence as the medical personnel of the Blazers rushed to attend to Nurkic’s injury. A stretcher was instantly called, and with the assistance of a handful of Blazers, including Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood, and Damian Lillard, the 7-foot Nurkic was quickly loaded onto the stretcher.
Damian Lillard’s Comments
“It made me feel incredibly sick,” Lillard stated. “I believe he attempted to tip it in before he crashed the glass and I witnessed him hitting the ground and quickly roll over, and I was under the impression someone might have hit his face again. While I was walking over to see what was going on, I noticed that everyone was turning around and walking away quite quickly, and then I noticed his leg. I truly hate to see it happen to someone like him.”
Lillard stated that it reminded him of the Team USA exhibition in 2014 that took place in Las Vegas when Paul George had his injury, a match Lillard was also playing in. “Nurkic’s injury looked exactly like that to me,” Lillard stated. It also brought back memories of the gruesome ankle injury of Gordon Hayward that occurred during the 2017/18 opening night game.
Terry Stotts stated that Nurkic was rushed to a local hospital and didn’t have much else to add as the head coach for the Blazers. “It’s horrible,” Stotts stated. Stotts also added that the locker room for the Blazers was tranquil after the injury occurred and Zach Collins felt like the team lost after the injury occurred. Enes Kanter stated that the entire team held a silent moment for Jusuf Nurkic after the match.
“Nobody had anything to say,” Kanter stated. This is a crushing and unexpected blow for the Blazers, who have managed to surge in recent games even though CJ McCollum has been sidelined after a knee injury. They managed to defeat the Brooklyn Nets in a 148-144 double-overtime match and clinched a playoff berth in the process.
Nurkic’s injury occurred with only 2 minutes left on the clock, while the Blazers were leading the game with 2 points. They managed to close the Brooklyn Nets with a phenomenal 3-pointer by Rodney Hood along with clutch free throws by Curry to finally seal the game for the Portland Trail Blazers.