By Michael Rosen, SFGATE

Published

  • Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) got into an altercation with Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) during the third quarter of the NBA game at Toyota Center on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. ( Yi-Chin Lee / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle

    Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) got into an altercation with Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) during the third quarter of the NBA game at Toyota Center on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. ( Yi-Chin Lee / Houston Chronicle )

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    Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) got into an altercation with Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) during the third quarter of the NBA game at Toyota Center on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in

    … more

    Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle

Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) got into an altercation with Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) during the third quarter of the NBA game at Toyota Center on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. ( Yi-Chin Lee / Houston Chronicle )

less

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) got into an altercation with Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) during the third quarter of the NBA game at Toyota Center on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in

… more

Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle

Portland Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic last appeared on an NBA court in March of 2019, when a broken tibia and fibula knocked him out of action for the rest of the 2018-2019 season and most of the 2019-2020 season. After nearly a year of recovery, Nurkic is attempting to work his way back into game shape.

When players are returning from a long injury layoff, they generally play a couple of games with the team’s G League squad to return to form. There’s just one problem: the Trail Blazers don’t have a G League team.

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The Blazers are among two teams without affiliated G League franchises. (The Denver Nuggets are the other team.) As a result, Nurkic is taking the uncommon step of practicing with the Warriors’ G League squad in Santa Cruz, according to Blazers beat reporter Casey Holdahl. Evidently, Santa Cruz is about as close as a G League franchise gets to the Pacific Northwest, which likely influenced the location of Nurkic’s assignment.

According to Holdahl, the goal is for Nurkic to return to action on Sunday for their game against the Houston Rockets. Nurkic averaged 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds during the 2018-2019 season prior to his injury.

Michael Rosen is an SFGATE digital editor. Email: michael.rosen@sfgate.com.

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