Niklola Jokic did not sustain structural damage from a knee injury suffered against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, the Denver Post's Mike Singer reports.
The Denver Nuggets center and reigning NBA MVP left Tuesday's 122-110 loss to the Utah Jazz in the first half with a knee contusion and didn't return. Singer speculated that Jokic could be listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Jokic bumped right knees with Rudy Gobert as the Jazz center drove to the basket late in the first half. He immediately fell to the court and clutched his knee in pain. He eventually attempted to walk the injury off before leaving for the Nuggets locker room.
Oh no, Jokic is down holding his knee! 😔 pic.twitter.com/DCuFXi7jzE
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 27, 2021
The Nuggets announced at halftime that Jokic suffered a knee contusion and was questionable to return. After he didn't return for the third quarter, the Nuggets ruled him out for the rest of the game.
After the game, Nuggets coach Michael Malone sounded optimistic about the injury.
Michael Malone isn't sure yet if Nikola Jokic will need any extra testing on his knee. He said that he decided to keep Jokic out at halftime when Jokic told him his knee felt a little weak. Malone said there was no sense in risking Jokic, especially on second of back-to-back.
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) October 27, 2021
Jokic was off to a hot start against the Jazz, tallying 24 points, six rebounds and six assists in the first half. He was the game's leading scorer despite playing less than a half. Will Barton, who reportedly jammed his thumb late in the game, scored 21 points.
For the Jazz, Gobert had 23 points and 16 rebounds.
Through three games entering Tuesday, Jokic had picked up on his MVP pace, averaging 27.7 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and 2.7 steals.