Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Michael Porter Jr. is “getting closer” to making a return for the Denver Nuggets, with the next week to 10 days a possible timeframe of his comeback, coach Mike Malone told reporters on Sunday (h/t Denver Post’s Mike Singer).

Porter Jr. has been on the Nuggets’ shelf since late November due to a left heel strain, missing 12-straight games following the team’s recent win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Thankfully, Denver went on to tally an 8-4 record amid his absence with Nikola Jokic performing his MVP duties and Aaron Gordon stepping up into a borderline All-Star. Both Bruce Brown and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also played greatly at the wing spot as their 3-and-D production is needed.

In 16 games he played so far this season, Porter Jr. is averaging 16.4 points and 6.0 boards in 46.6 percent shooting. He is also draining 42.7 percent of his shots from three in 6.9 attempts on average.

The former Missouri star was notably limited in just nine games last 2021-22 after sustaining a risky back injury that required season-ending surgery.