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Is Nikola Jokic playing for the Nuggets on Thursday vs. the Pelicans?

The Nuggets C has a calf injury. We break down and update you on his status for Thursday’s game vs. New Orleans.

Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets warms up before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Ball Arena on March 27, 2023 in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets will take on the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday as one of just two games on the NBA slate. The Nuggets lead the Western Conference and hope to lock up the No. 1 seed soon, but they may have to do so without their best player. MVP candidate Nikola Jokic is dealing with a calf injury heading into this matchup. Here are the latest updates on his status.

Nikola Jokic injury updates

Update: So much for being a game-time call. Jokic has been ruled out of Thursday’s game. We’ll see if he, and other key Nuggets players, are able to suit up Friday on the second part of the back-to-back set.

Update: Jokic is officially a game-time decision and head coach Mike Malone said the team will err on the side of caution with this being the first game of a back-to-back set. We’ll see if Jokic is able to suit up for this encounter, although the game Friday against Phoenix has much higher stakes in terms of a potential playoff meeting.

Jokic is officially listed as questionable for this contest, but it’s hard to see him not suiting up considering he’s played big minutes in every game since February 5. The Pelicans are fighting for a playoff spot in the West, so this is an important game for them as well. I’d expect Jokic to play.

If the event Jokic doesn’t suit up, the Nuggets will likely roll with Thomas Bryant as the primary center. Denver could also feature some small-ball lineups with Aaron Gordon at center.