Could Jamal Murray Return for the Nuggets vs. Warriors Playoff Series? Nuggets Head Coach and President Provide Updates
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray has been out for over a year after he tore his ACL on April 12, 2021, in a game against the Golden State Warriors.
After a year of rehab, Murray has been cleared for full contact and has been practicing with the Nuggets.
Rumors have been swirling for weeks about Murray’s return, but it’s still murky on whether he will return this season or not.
On Wednesday, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was less than optimistic about Murray possibly returning for the first round matchup against the Warriors.
“I would lean more towards him being doubtful at this time,” Malone told the media. “But I haven’t closed that door. We’ll see how this series (against Golden State) goes and how Jamal feels. But zero pressure from me to Jamal. He’s going to come back when he’s ready.”
Murray elevated his game during the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs. The Canadian averaged 18.5 points per game during the regular season and averaged 26.5 points during the playoffs, helping the Nuggets get to the Western Conference Finals.
Malone said Murray is “itching” to get back but also wants to make sure the timing is right, according to Denver Post Nuggets beat reporter Mike Singer.
Michael Malone said Jamal Murray is itching to help his teammates beat Golden State, but is also asking himself if he's ready for that.
"And that's what he wrestles with every single night, I'm sure."
— Mike Singer (@msinger) April 14, 2022
All reports indicate that Murray is healthy enough to go, but he has to have the confidence to cut and jump off the knee in order to avoid reinjuring it again.
Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly told 92.5 Altitude Sports Radio in Denver that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Murray back on the court for the playoffs.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all,” Connelly said. “When Jamal feels like he is ready, he is going to sprint out there. He’s in the red zone of return to play. It’s totally up to him. Once we give him certain assurances that he looks good physically — we’ve told him throughout the entire process, ‘You pass these certain lines, and it’s on you to tell us when you’re ready to get back out there.'”
Murray isn’t the only Nuggets star who could return for the playoffs. Michael Porter Jr. has also been cleared for full contact, although it appears he is further out than Murray.
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