According to Shams Charania of the Athletic and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Will Barton’s MRI results yielded a right groin strain and a core strain.

The timeline is still unknown, but this is good news for Barton and the Nuggets. A strain is infinitely better than a tear, the difference between missing a portion or the entirety of the season. Before Sunday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, Michael Malone speculated that the injury would not be season-ending.

“I don’t think it’s anything to that extent,” Malone said, when asked about Barton missing the entire year. “Obviously he is going to be out tonight and for the foreseeable future, but what does that mean, how long? That’s to be determined and hopefully we get some good news tomorrow.”

Barton sustained the injury during the third quarter in Denver’s home opener against the Phoenix Suns, requiring a rolling stretcher to exit the court. He showed visual signs of pain upon going down, and the news of a strain versus a tear should bring every member of the organization a sigh of relief.

Barton’s importance to the Nuggets cannot be understated. Already with shaky depth at small forward after Wilson Chandler was traded and with Michael Porter Jr. out for awhile, the Nuggets will likely turn to Torrey Craig and Juancho Hernangomez for the time being. Both fit well with Denver’s starters as a clear fifth option offensively. Despite that though, the Nuggets need Will Barton back. His versatility next to Jamal Murray and Gary Harris as a ball handler and spot-up shooter help Denver’s offense go from good to elite.

Denver Stiffs will provide updates as they are made available.

For now, don’t miss our two-part documentary on Will Barton inlcuding interviews from Damian Lillard, Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic, and more.

Part one

Part two