According to Michael Malone at Denver Nuggets practice on Thursday, two-time MVP Nikola Jokić is unlikely to suit up versus the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

“As of right now, he’s definitely doubtful for the game tomorrow night,” Malone shared with local media on Thursday.

The Nuggets are utilizing an abundance of caution for Jokić in the lead-up to regular season play.

After Jokić was seen with a large wrap on his wrist during the second half of Monday’s preseason opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Malone has been asked several times over the last three days about his concern level over Jokić’s wrist injury. Malone has been consistent in his responses that Jokić’s wrist is okay and that the Nuggets are simply taking every preventative measure to keep him 100%.

“I think probably out of precaution, [the training staff] may have done some imaging. Nothing’s been brought to my attention, so I have to assume with that, there’s nothing that was seen in those images that was worrisome. Right now, it’s just probably a little sore, so we’re going to be careful with it.”

The Nuggets training staff has always been exceptionally cautious surrounding these matters, and with a superstar like Jokić, they have every right to be. On Wednesday, Jokić told present media that the wrist felt “a little weird” which could mean any number of things.

Most likely, he’s experiencing additional soreness in that area due to sustaining a previous injury. Soreness is different from pain though, and the Nuggets are offering every resource they have to ensure it remains that way. When the official injury report for Friday’s game is released later on Thursday, Jokić will most likely pop up there as “Doubtful – right wrist.”

Just know that if Jokić had to play, he most certainly would. If he had to perform well, he has two MVP trophies at home that were won after he sustained the initial wrist injury back in the bubble. He missed six games during the 2021-22 regular season due to a right wrist sprain, another time when the Nuggets showed an abundance of caution around the same injury.

Starting in Jokić’s place on Friday will either be Zeke Nnaji or DeAndre Jordan. Malone will make that decision, and the Nuggets will get to see new combinations of lineups as a result. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are expected to play.

The Nuggets have four more preseason games remaining, including three next week. Most likely, Jokić, Murray, and Porter will all sit out during at least one of those games, again, out of an abundance of caution.