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Portland’s Nurkic has surgery in wake of horror injury

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By Agence France-Presse

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic had surgery Tuesday and is expected to make a “full recovery” after breaking two bones in his lower left leg against Brooklyn on Monday.

The 24-year-old Bosnian broke his left tibia and fibula in the second period of overtime in the Blazers’ 148-144 victory over the Nets at the Moda Center in Portland which clinched a playoff berth.

“While Nurkic is expected to make a full recovery, there is no timetable for his return to basketball activity,” the team said on their website. “His status will be updated as appropriate.”

Nurkic led the scoring for the Blazers with 32 points while adding 16 rebounds and five assists.

But he went down hard with a grisly-looking injury in the second period of overtime, his left leg buckling beneath him as he landed after attempting to tip in a shot.

Several players from both sides visibly recoiled after seeing the severity of Nurkic’s injury, which sent the arena into a concerned hush.

The Bosnian big man had been enjoying the best season of his career.

In 72 games this season (all starts), Nurkic averaged career highs of 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.00 steal to go with 1.40 blocks.

He shot a career-best 50.8% from the field and 77.3% from the foul line. Nurkic posted a career-high 36 double-doubles and led the team in rebounds 46 times, assists 12 times and points eight times. He ranks 13th in the NBA in rebounding and 15th in blocks.