Lillard calls Nurkic’s recovery progress ‘good energy’

Sports

After video is released of Jusuf Nurkic working out during the team's recent road trip, Damian Lillard says he's happy to have the big man back around

De izquierda a derecha, Evan Turner, Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic y CJ McCollum, de los Trail Blazers de Portland, festejan una victoria sobre los Pelicans de Nueva Orleans, el martes 24 de octubre de 2017 (AP Foto/Craig Mitchelldyer)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After months of keeping recovery updates behind-the-scenes, videos of Jusuf Nurkic working out has teammates and fans encouraged and excited for his return.

“I’m happy to see him back around,” Damian Lillard told KOIN 6 News of having Nurkic with the team on their road trip to Denver and Phoenix. It’s the first time the big man, known as the Bosnian Beast, has traveled this season.

“It brings good energy from our team,” Lillard continued. “And as his friend, love seeing him bounce back after how down he was after the game he got hurt in at the hospital.”

Nurkic wouldn’t say exactly how long he’s been doing workouts like the one the Portland Trail Blazers posted on their Twitter account, but you get the feeling it was far from the first time.

“I try to listen to my team and my doctors and everybody around me to do it the right way,” Nurkic said of his recovery process. “It’s been tremendously difficult right now watching but I just need to be smart with decisions and I feel pretty good about where I am.”

The Trail Blazers, 10-16, currently in 12th in the Western Conference, could certainly use Nurkic’s help. But he says the status of the team won’t play a role in when he makes his recovery.

“It’s not about one game or one season, it’s about life. I want to be healthy when I’m done playing basketball and I feel like I know what I can do and how much I mean to this team but at the same time they know, I give everything that I’ve got to this team. And now they need to wait, whatever that day is.”

But make no mistake #RipCity, Nurk wants to be back on the court, and when he comes back, he’s trying to be better than ever.

“I feel hungry. I feel, every day, hungry more. When I’m with the team I feel even more hungry. I lost some weight and I feel great; more explosive and more quick and I just feel like when that day comes, I’m going to be Double Beast.”

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