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Nikola Jokic may return to lineup vs. Boston Celtics

From NBA media reports

The Denver Nuggets have been getting by without prized free-agent addition Paul Millsap since Nov. 22. That’s when they got word he needed wrist surgery and would miss several months. Days later, center Nikola Jokic went down with a badly sprained left ankle and hasn’t been back in the lineup since.

* Recap: Nuggets 103, Pistons 84

Denver has gone 3-3 since losing Jokic on Nov. 30 and there may be good news on the horizon for it as he could return tonight against the Boston Celtics (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass). Nuggets coach Michael Malone wasn’t ready to declare Jokic set to play, but as Gina Mizell of The Denver Post reports, the big man’s comeback seems to be just around the corner:

Though Malone said Jokic’s ankle is still “very, very swollen,” the coach said the third-year big man continues to progress and set his status for the Celtics game as to be determined.

“He’s getting closer,” Malone said. “ … He’s moving better. I think he’s managing the pain. Whether he’s available tomorrow night, we’ll wait and see.”

Jokic, who sustained the injury against Chicago on Nov. 30, went through individual basketball work in Orlando on Friday and Sunday at Indiana. He is averaging 15.5 points per game and leads Denver in rebounds (10.6 per game) and assists (4.6 per game).

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