Paul Millsap, sidelined since having left wrist surgery in November, isn't certain of his return date, but Mason Plumlee, out since late January with a calf injury, expects to play Friday when the Nuggets return to action against the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
"It's just great to have those guys back," coach Michael Malone told the Denver Post. "We'll figure out who plays and when they play, but being healthy with 24 games to go (is) a good thing to be."
Millsap probably won't play this week, and his initial action likely will be as a sub, the Post reported.
"Hopefully (I can play) pretty soon," Millsap said. "It feels good now. We'll see how it feels in the morning or after (Thursday's) practice, and we'll go from there. My intention was to come right back after the All-Star break and get into it, but we have to be smart about it. This was my first practice today, full contact, and I have to be smart about my wrist and my body."
Millsap was an All-Star each of the past four seasons while playing for the Atlanta Hawks before signing with Denver as a free agent last July. Through 16 games for the Nuggets, he is averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals.
Plumlee, in his second season with Denver, has played 50 games this season, making 26 starts. He is averaging 7.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 blocks.
Malone acknowledged that reintroducing Millsap and Plumlee to the rotation could involve a delicate balance with the Nuggets on a hot streak. Denver won six of its last seven games before the break, posting a minimum of 115 points in those six victories.
"It's a good thing. It's also a challenging thing," Malone said of the return of Millsap and Plumlee. "You look at our offensive numbers in the month of February -- I've never seen numbers like that. Now, unfortunately, our defensive numbers are just as bad as our offense is good. That's where you miss Mason and Paul. People don't understand the impact both of those guys have."
--Field Level Media