In an interview with Vic Lombardi on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 this morning, the Denver Nuggets President Of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly, let loose with some shots heard around Nuggets fandom when he said both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. would be cleared (presumably by the medical staff) “at some point in the not-too-distant future.”
Asked @nuggets boss Tim Connelly about the possible return of Jamal Murray and MPJ this season.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) February 11, 2022
“It’s up to them. We’re going to clear them at some point in the not too distant future and then they have to determine when and if they’re ready”. @AltitudeSR 92.5
He followed up by saying that it would be up to the players themselves to give the final go ahead on when they get back on the court in actual games.
On @AltitudeSR, Connelly said the rehab for both has gone as well as can be expected and that ultimately both players will know when they are ready to play.— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) February 11, 2022
When the Nuggets were given a Disabled Player Exception for Porter last month, people were quick to point out that it did not mean that Porter would be unable to come back this season - it was just an option that the Nuggets availed themselves of in order to cover their bases. Based on Connelly’s comments, and with two months left to go in the regular season, it’s entirely possible that Denver has its Big Three back on the court together before the playoffs start.
Porter has been out due a nerve issue in his back that required surgery in the first month of the season, and Murray is in the final stages of recovery from ACL surgery last April. Both men have been seen shooting the lights out in the gym, and Murray has been showing off more explosiveness in his movements in recent weeks. Getting cleared to resume on-court activities is not the same as being told to suit up for live games, but it’s the real and tangible next step toward playing again this year. Denver has a G League team now, the Grand Rapids Gold, and they play games until April. The Nuggets have a framework for getting either player - or both - back into game shape and seeing live game action before stepping into an NBA game.
Enjoy these social media clips and dream. The Nuggets might get the band back together well before season’s end after all.