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No structural damage in knee of Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic

Oct 25, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles the ball in the second quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles the ball in the second quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has no structural damage in his right knee after being injured Tuesday, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday.

The reigning MVP banged knees with Utah’s Rudy Gobert late in the second quarter and fell to the floor in pain. He sat out the second half of the 122-110 setback.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he made the decision to keep Jokic out for the second half.

“What I have learned about Nikola is, if you leave it up to Nikola, he is going to play every game,” Malone said afterward. “So sometimes I have to make decisions for him, and it makes no sense for me when he told me it feels a little weak for him to play in the second half.

“And that is for any player. … It just didn’t make any sense to have Nikola go out there for a second night of a back-to-back and the risk of any further damage.”

Jokic’s status for Friday’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks isn’t yet known.

Jokic had 24 points, six rebounds and six assists in 15 minutes before exiting on Tuesday. He is averaging 26.8 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in four games.

–Field Level Media