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Nuggets star Nikola Jokic clears quarantine in NBA's Orlando bubble

Posted on July 15, 2020

It took longer than the Denver Nuggets were expecting, but All-Star center Nikola Jokic cleared quarantine and joined his team to watch Tuesday night's practice in Orlando, Florida.

Jokic still has to undergo physical testing by the Nuggets before he is cleared to practice, as per iSports API basketball data. But while talking to reporters for the first time since the season came to a halt in March, the Nuggets' franchise player was in a light-hearted mood, clearly excited to be in Orlando.

Jokic had to go through quarantines in Serbia and the United States, had multiple tests to produce negative results and endured travel issues after testing positive for coronavirus while he was in Serbia.

Jokic said the positive test came as a surprise, since he was feeling asymptomatic at the time, in late June, when he tested prior to when he was scheduled to fly back to Denver.

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Jokic did not fly with the Nuggets on their team flight to Orlando because of travel issues. Once at the Walt Disney World Resort, players have to quarantine for up to 48 hours and test negative two more times if they fly privately to Orlando, per NBA mandate. If a player flies commercially to Orlando, he must have three consecutive negative tests before resuming basketball activities.

The Nuggets remain short-handed as Malone said the team is awaiting two negative tests on some members of the team travel list who did not accompany the team to Orlando.

But the Nuggets have their biggest piece with them. Jokic raised eyebrows during the NBA hiatus when photos of his leaner physique went viral. He said he is in the same shape -- give or a take three to five pounds -- that he was in when the Nuggets last played, on March 11.

Jokic -- who averaged 25.1 points, 13.0 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.1 steals in the playoffs last season according to iSports API to help the Nuggets fall one win short of making the Western Conference finals -- said he is not allowed to reveal his current playing weight due to team policy.

According to iSports basketball API, last year during his breakout postseason, Jokic said he preferred his playing weight at about 275-280 pounds so that he can bang inside against big centers.

Opponents might not be laughing if a leaner and lighter frame means a more potent Jokic. As per iSports NBA data, Jokic is averaging 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.2. steals for the third-place Nuggets (43-22).

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