The Denver Nuggets have announced on Twitter that Ty Lawson will play his first game in nearly a month tonight against Minnesota:
#Nuggets PG @TyLawson3 says he will return tonight after missing nine games with a fractured rib.
The Denver Post’s Chris Dempsey added that he “will wear a protective pad around his ribs.”
While all Nuggets fans can feel happy and relieved that Lawson’s recovery is going well, the decision to rush him back before he’s fully healed seems questionable at best. The Nuggets effectively are already out of the playoffs, so there is absolutely no need to risk aggravating his injury. On top of that, regardless of opinions on the merits or pitfalls of tanking, the hard fact is that winning more games down the stretch will weaken Denver’s draft position in the unlikely event that the Knicks find a way to turn their season around.
It’s understandable that the Nuggets organization might want to give the fans something to be hopeful about, and a star to cheer for. But given the health risk and the draft downside, it really just doesn’t seem worth it. And after the team already has suffered through the injuries-gone-wrong sagas of Gallinari and McGee, it seems highly irresponsible for them to jeopardize Lawson in the same manner.
But hey, at the very least, the game tonight should be a lot more fun to watch than most recent games have been. So here’s to Ty staying healthy, and to the Nuggets avoiding their worst case scenario.
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