Jamal Murray Expected To Return To Playing This Week After First Injury Setback Since 2021 ACL Tear

Jamal Murray is close to returning and could be back in action for the Denver Nuggets this week, according to The Athletic’s Sham’s Charania, who described the player’s return as “imminent” on Monday.

Murray is in line for a comeback either on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets or on Friday against the Phoenix Suns.

The return process will be day-by-day for the player after Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, per Charania. The Nuggets’ medical staff will be monitoring how he feels every day.

Described by Charania as “one of the game’s great competitors,” Murray was shooting jump shots in his street clothes during the halftime interval of a recent game. 

The team is 5-5 without the point guard, who has been out since suffering a hamstring strain on November 4. They have since dropped down to fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

Murray is, of course, the Nuggets’ second-best player and has developed some remarkable chemistry with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. The defending champions are virtually unstoppable when they’re on the floor together, which was the case during their run to a title last season.

Murray was averaging 16.3 points and a career-high 7.4 assists per game while shooting 43.8 percent from three (another career best) prior to his injury. Before the hamstring problem arose, he had not experienced any significant injuries since the torn ACL that caused him to miss the entire 2021/22 season. 

The Nuggets looked to be a contender in 2020/21 before Murray suffered the aforementioned setback. They had traded for Aaron Gordon with the aim of making a deep playoff run but they couldn’t have imagined they would be without Murray until the 2022 season. 

The guard picked up right where he left off and helped lead the team to a championship this year, with Denver taking five games to defeat the Miami Heat in a finals series that lit up the Canadian sports betting scene, given that Murray is from The Great North. 

Murray tore his ACL on April 13, 2021, and did not return to playing until October 19, 2022. He scored 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting from the field in 26 minutes, losing to the Utah Jazz in an away fixture.

”I was shaking off the rust obviously,” he said after the game. “I got some great looks, rushed into them hoping just to get a little rhythm.”

He played his first home game three days later.

“Everybody that had an injury, a major injury, reached out,” he revealed later. “Just told me, just stay with the grind, it’s going to be a marathon, and I can’t look at the couple days ahead. I got to look down the line and know that my time is coming.

“It’s a lot of ups and downs, and you hear a lot of different things. You just got to maintain your work ethic and just know that it’s going to be a long process for you to get back to what you want to do. You hear doubts, you hear rumors, you hear everything.

“You’ve just got to keep a level head and know that the work that I put in the weight room and rehabbing, I know that it’s going to show when it needs to show,” Murray said. “So I just kind of stuck to that. Didn’t get too high, didn’t get too low. And now this is the fun part of my rehab, is just figuring it out.”

After watching Murray help Denver win its first championship, Canadian fans were hoping to see him in action for his native country in the 2023 FIBA World Championship. However, it wasn’t to be as it was announced that he wouldn’t be taking part back in August

“When I came into training camp, I wanted to see how my body would respond after a long and demanding season and if I would be physically able to compete at the highest level required for the World Cup,” he explained.

“In consultation with medical staff and the team, it is clear that additional recovery is required, and I have made the difficult decision to not participate in the tournament. It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics, and I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal.”

Fans will have to wait to see Murray suit up for his country again. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *