Portland will be without its starting center until after the All-Star break, the team announced Friday. Jusuf Nurkic has a left calf strain and will be out of the Trail Blazers’ lineup for the next seven games and is expected to return after that.
He suffered the injury in the first quarter of Wednesday’s 122-112 road win against the Memphis Grizzlies and did not return. Nurkic was listed on the pregame injury report with the same injury.
Jusuf Nurkić injury update.
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 3, 2023
This season, Nurkic is averaging 13.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 52.4% overall and 39% on 3-pointers. He has started all 45 of his games for Portland and leads the team in rebounds and ranks second in blocks (0.9 bpg).
His departure from the mix likely means a larger role for Drew Eubanks, who is Nurkic’s backup and is averaging 5.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.0 apg and 1.2 bpg in 18.9 minutes per game. The Blazers have won four of their last five games. They are in the midst of a three-game road trip that continues tonight in Washington (7 ET, NBA League Pass) and ends Feb. 4 in Chicago (8 ET, NBA League Pass).
At 25-26, Portland is No. 11 in the Western Conference and is .001 percentage points behind New Orleans for the No. 10 spot and two games behind the Dallas Mavericks for No. 4. The Blazers have a five-game home stand that runs from Feb. 6-14 before the All-Star break happens from Feb. 17-23.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.