The Trail Blazers received crushing news Friday when center Jusuf Nurkic was ruled out for at least two weeks with a non-displaced right leg fibular fracture.
Nurkic, who has been a revelation in Portland since being traded by the Nuggets midseason, underwent an MRI on Friday and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. He will miss the remainder of the regular season.
After scoring 33 points with 15 rebounds Tuesday against his old team, the 7-footer backed it up with a 19-point, 11-rebound performance Thursday night. Nurkic is averaging 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season, but has increased those averages to 15.2 points and 10.4 boards since joining the Blazers in February.
The Trail Blazers (37-38) currently hold a two-game lead over the Nuggets (35-40) for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference. It will be tough to hang on without Nurkic, and almost impossible to upset a team in the playoffs should the rising center be forced to miss more time.