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Report: Michael Porter Jr. will play Friday vs. Suns [UPDATE]

Nuggets forward has missed the past 10 games after being placed in quarantine due to health and safety protocols.

Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 29, 2020 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE: Jan. 22, 4:52 p.m. — Porter will be active and available to play in Friday’s game vs. the Suns, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. Porter hasn’t been in the lineup since 2020. We don’t know if Porter will be in the starting lineup yet or if he’ll be on a minutes restriction.

Denver Nuggets SF Michael Porter Jr. is being listed as questionable to play in Friday’s game vs. the Phoenix Suns. Porter has missed the past 10 games after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols due to Covid-19. The young forward hasn’t played a game in 2021, his last coming on Dec. 29 against the Sacramento Kings. Porter has a chance to get back in the lineup for the Nuggets, who have struggled this season at 7-7 and out of the playoff picture in the West.

With Porter sidelined, the Nuggets have been starting Will Barton, who hasn’t exactly done a great job filling in. Barton is averaging just 11.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game since entering the starting lineup. He used to be a go-to bench scorer for the Nuggets. A potential return for Porter would be a big boost to the Nuggets offense. Denver already ranks in the top 5 in points per game at just over 115.

Overall, Porter’s return should really just be a negative for Barton. Porter will take some touches away from Jamal Murray, but he’ll also open things up more for Murray. Nikola Jokic is unaffected, he was still crushing it in fantasy basketball before Porter exited the lineup. Better offensive players surrounding Jokic and Murray should only help. The issue for Denver was always on defense after losing Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig.