Portland Trail Blazers

Report: Portland Trail Blazers centre Jusuf Nurkic to make season debut on March 16

Jusuf Nurkic
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The Portland Trail Blazers are getting a huge boost for the regular season's stretch run.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Jusuf Nurkic will make his season debut on March 16, when the Blazers take on the Houston Rockets.

Nurkic told Haynes that he's "ready to help my team make the playoffs."

Nurkic has yet to play this season after sustaining compound fractures of his left tibia and fibula near the end of last season. He was ruled out indefinitely at the time and there remained no firm timetable for his return as of last month.

Prior to his injury last season, Nurkic was averaging career-highs of 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He was Portland's second-best player on the season. Whether or not he can get back to that level remains to be seen, but he has the potential to help the Blazers close the gap between them and the Memphis Grizzlies for the final spot in the Western Conference playoff race.

Heading into Saturday's games, the Blazers sit 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies in the standings with 19 games remaining.

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