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Report: Jusuf Nurkic to make season debut March 15

Trail Blazers center has been sidelined for more than a year after horrible leg injury. He’s on track to return next week.

Injured Portland Trail Blazers Portland Trail Blazers forward Pau Gasol and Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic chat on the bench during the first quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Moda Center.  Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers C Jusuf Nurkic is expected to make his season debut on March 15 vs. the Houston Rockets, Yahoo Sports’ Chris B. Haynes reported Friday afternoon. Nurkic has been sidelined for almost a year after suffering a bad broken leg last season. The Blazers have been dying for some size, so getting Nurkic back in the rotation will be big. The question is: Who goes to the bench? Let’s take a look.

With Nurkic back, he actually could make sense coming off the bench. It depends if the Blazers feel comfortable running both Nurk and Hassan Whiteside in the starting lineup at PF and C. Carmelo Anthony makes more sense as a 3 anyway, but he’s been playing more PF with Portland. Trevor Ariza will likely head back to the bench if that’s the course the Blazers take. We could see a few different looks until Nurkic works his way back, so my thinking is he’ll start coming off the bench.