Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Jusuf Nurkic will likely miss the Portland Trail Blazers’ preseason opener, as he’s yet to complete COVID-19 safety protocols required before being cleared for participation, according to head coach Terry Stotts.


“If he tests on Thursday and gets another negative he will be cleared for contact on Friday,” Stotts said. “I doubt that he plays,” Stotts continued. “But in theory if he gets a negative test from Thursday’s testing he would probably be eligible to play Friday but I doubt that he plays.”

The Blazers open their four-game preseason schedule on Friday against the Sacramento Kings. Nurkic returned later than the rest of his teammates from Bosnia.

Last season, the Bosnian center returned from a serious leg injury he suffered during the 2018/19 campaign. He played 13 games with the Blazers during the NBA season restart in Orlando.