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Report: Denver Nuggets' Gary Harris likely to return from right knee sprain tonight

From NBA Twitter and media reports

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The Denver Nuggets are staying in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase with wins in eight of their last 11 and six straight wins overall. However, they are in a fight with four other teams (the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans) to just make the playoffs.

Denver has made do without Gary Harris, one of its best scorers/playmakers, over the last 11 games. Harris has been out with a right knee sprain since March 15, but the Nuggets received good news on his injury today as his status has been upgraded to questionable against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight (9 ET, NBA League Pass) and he’s likely to play, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Christopher Dempsy of Altitude Sports and Nuggets.com reports the following via Twitter:

#Nuggets G Gary Harris has been upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game vs. Portland. The team’s medical staff will monitor his pregame workout and activity and a decision on his availability will be made pregame.

Harris’ move to questionable comes just hours after the team upgraded him from out to doubtful, writes Gina Mizell of The Denver Post has more:

Nuggets’ second-leading scorer Gary Harris, who has missed the past 11 games with a right knee sprain/strain, has been upgraded from out to doubtful to play in Monday’s home finale against Portland on the team’s official injury report released Sunday afternoon.

Harris, who is averaging 17.7 points and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range, sustained the injury when he landed awkwardly on his right leg after being fouled on a made dunk late in the fourth quarter of a March 15 home win against Detroit. The timetable for his return has consistently been pushed back throughout his recovery.

Though Harris went through individual on-court work — including running from the top of the key to the corners, cutting and shooting — prior to Saturday’s win at the Clippers, coach Michael Malone said before that game that his team is preparing to play the rest of the regular season without Harris.

“Right now, I’m not expecting Gary Harris back,” Malone said. “We have to continue to find ways to win games and compete at a high level with the players that are available, and Gary’s not on that list right now. He’s working very hard and if that changes, then we’ll be ready to adjust.”

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