Joffrey Lauvergne Expected to Return vs Spurs


Joffrey Lauvergne is expected to return to the court for Friday’s (11/27) matchup against the Spurs.

Joffrey Lauvergne opened the 2015-2016 season as the Denver Nuggets’ starting center, due to Jusuf Nurkic recovering from offseason knee surgery. Joffrey Lauvergne looked good during his preseason contest and entered the season as a potential breakout candidate for the Denver Nuggets. With Nurkic sidelined because of injury, the Denver Nuggets leaned heavily on Lauvergne to shoulder a bulk of the work at center. Despite getting banged up in the preseason, Joffrey Lauvergne opened the year in the starting rotation.

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Although Joffrey Lauvergne opened the season as the starting center, it did not last long, playing in just three games before succumbing to a back injury. Lauvergne played just three games this season before missing the next 12 games because of his nagging back injury. Joffrey Lauvergne returned back to practice last week; however, his back flared up on him quickly. Thus, he needed more rest to make sure the injury was behind him. Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone stated that the team was doing everything in their power to get Joffrey Lauvergne back to the court.

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On Friday (11/27), Joffrey Lauvergne completed his shootaround, making him likely to return to the court against the San Antonio Spurs. Recently, the Denver Nuggets suffered a slew of injuries to their big men, with Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, and Jusuf Nurkic all missing time from the court. Chandler will miss the duration of the season after he elected for season-ending hip surgery to repair a labrum issue. Moreover, Faried recently injured his ankle, and the injury forced him out of the starting lineup for the past two games.

With Kenneth Faried missing the last two games with an ankle injury, his status for Friday’s matchup remains in the air. Originally, the Denver Nuggets ruled him out of their matchup against the Spurs, but as of late, Faried’s status was upgraded to questionable, hinting he may return to the court soon. If Faried cannot return to the court Friday, expect Joffrey Lauvergne to see extended action in his first game back from his injury. Due to Lauvergne and Nurkic’s injuries, Nikola Jokic stepped into the starting rotation to play center, but it remains to be seen if he continues to get starts with Joffrey Lauvergne returning to the team. 

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Also, the Denver Nuggets gave increased minutes to J.J. Hickson after the injuries to their big men, so he may see a decreased role as the Nuggets get healthier over the course of the season. The Denver Nuggets likely want to ease Joffrey Lauvergne back into game action, but if Faried needs more time to rest his ailing ankle, the Nuggets might be in a situation to throw Lauvergne back into action. Joffrey Lauvergne looks to regain his preseason form that saw him put up double-doubles on a near-nightly basis.

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With the San Antonio Spurs duo of Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Denver Nuggets need all the help they can get out of their frontcourt. Thus, Joffrey Lauvergne’s return could not come at a more pivotal time. Also, the Denver Nuggets look to end their four-game losing streak, with three of those four losses coming at home. The Denver Nuggets hoped to be contenders this season, but early injuries have hindered the team in the first month of action. Look for the Nuggets and Joffrey Lauvergne to put in a solid effort before they embark on their upcoming five-game road trip.