The Denver Nuggets recently lost Paul Millsap for several months, and they’re hoping Nikola Jokic won’t be sidelined for an extended period, too.
Jokic exited the team’s one-point victory over the Chicago Bulls due to a left ankle injury. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nuggets think Jokic has avoided a major issue.
“Further evaluation on left ankle of Denver’s Nikola Jokic set for Friday, but there’s cautious optimism that injury is no more than a sprain. … X-rays negative.”
While driving toward the basket in the second quarter against Chicago, he stepped on Jerian Grant’s foot and rolled the ankle. Jokic immediately fell to the court in pain, left the game and didn’t return.
Denver mustered a victory anyway, but the Bulls are the worst team in the NBA. The competition level will only rise.
Fortunately for Mike Malone’s team, it’s a gradual increase. Three of the next four games are opposite the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic. If there’s ever a time for Jokic to miss action, this is a relatively ideal spot. In his place, Kenneth Faried would assume a larger role.
Nevertheless, Jokic is Denver’s most important player. He consistently contributes on both sides of the floor, averaging 15.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals. The sooner he’s healthy, the better off the Millsap-less Nuggets will be.