Trail Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic still without return date

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With only 22 games left for the Portland Trail Blazers, big man Jusuf Nurkic is still unsure when and if he will return to the court this season.

“It’s hard to give hope because there is no dates (for my return), so it’s hard to talk about anything,” Nurkic said. “I have no dates, so all the rumors, they don’t make sense. People are going to say (he’s coming back) today, tomorrow, next week, a week later … but I have no dates.”

Nurkic returned to practice in January and appeared close to a possible comeback, but he suffered a right calf strain as a setback.

It remains unclear if he has resumed practice after the calf injury.

Nurkic made it clear that he still needs more practice time.

The Trail Blazers are a team that conduct fewer full practices and scrimmages between games in order to avoid overworking players.

“All I know is I’m trying to figure out how I can get more practices, because we don’t have many practices,” Nurkic said. “That’s the only thing I can tell you. That’s the only reason I can come back: If I find somehow to practice. … I can’t be out 11 months and just jump in a game; it doesn’t work out that way.”

The Trail Blazers currently sit three games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

As long as they remain in the hunt, Nurkic could continue to try to make a comeback, but if they start to fall out of contention, he will more than likely not see the court until next season.