Coach Michael Malone Explains Juancho Hernangomez's Illness Absence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Juancho Hernangomez is not with the team on this four-game road trip after being diagnosed with mononucleosis and “could be out a couple of weeks,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

Malone explained the series of events that led to Hernangomez, the second-year forward, being out.

“To be honest, we were talking as coaches and as a staff that Juancho hadn’t looked like Juancho from last year,” Malone said. “The first reaction was: Well, he had a very busy summer. He played summer league with us, then he goes right back to Spain and plays a very long and demanding schedule with the national team. But we were waiting for Juancho to come back – the activity, the energy, and he just wasn’t looking like himself.”

Hernangomez played a total of seven minutes in the first two games of the season.

“Then he started coming down with a little bit of a cold, and we did blood work and it came back that he had mononucleosis. … It’s really unfortunate.” Malone said. “He had such a good year for us as a rookie last year. And he could be out for a couple of weeks; that infection obviously is tricky. Hopefully he is able to get the rest he needs to get his body back under control. And then, hopefully when he is healthy, we’ll see that Juancho that we all came to love last year, who was just boundless energy. We haven’t seen that guy yet because of this infection and how hard he worked the whole summer.”

Christopher Dempsey: christopher.dempsey@altitude.tv and @chrisadempsey on Twitter.