Getting hurt, while a part of every athlete’s career, is the worst part of sports. Injuries are painful, can lead to even bigger issues, and often take a long time to heal. Even so, just about every professional player gets hurt at one time or another. That includes Jamal Murray.
This article takes a look at the guard’s career through the lens of his various physical issues. Studying such injuries will shed light, not just on how they’ve impacted his own career, but how certain issues can permanently affect a player and derail an entire team.
Minutes on Minutes
Murray’s career started out about as strong as a player’s can. Not only did he put up solid numbers and act as a perfect fit for his team, he also stayed healthy and performed well night after night. He was so healthy, in fact, that he rarely missed a game.
The sharpshooter did not miss a single game during his rookie season (playing in all 82), only missed one game during his second season, and then only missed six the year after. That type of production is incredibly impressive, especially in the current rest-oriented NBA.
Most players take a few games off here and there. Even when healthy, getting some extra nights off is a good way to prevent bigger issues and get ready for key matchups. Murray did no such things. He pushed hard and kept going no matter what was in his way.
However, as great as that progression was, he couldn’t keep it up.
The First Issues
As with previous years, Murray started 2019 out strong. His stats were only getting better, and he showed no signs of slowing down. That all changed in 2019 when a series of lower body injuries took him out of a significant number of contests.
Murray first hurt his ankle. He then recovered, but quickly injured it again a few weeks later. On top of that, he suffered a foot injury as well. Those recurring issues weren’t incredibly serious, but they did prevent Murray from getting into games. The Nuggets were careful with him too.
The guard had a productive year in 2019, but he did so while missing twenty three games. That’s not a lot for some athletes, but it was a noticeable setback given how he started his career. From that point, things only got worse.
A Year Out
After getting back on the court (and helping his team reach the Western Conference Finals) Murray hit a major roadblock in 2020. Just one year after overcoming his various minor injuries, the guard’s lower body betrayed him again. This time, in a big way.
In the 2020 season, Murray tore his ACL during a key April matchup against the Golden State Warriors. He underwent surgery for it just one week later and the Nuggets announced he would sit (and stay) out for an indefinite amount of time.
While the organization was hopeful that Murray would be back sooner rather than later, his knee took much longer to rebound than initially expected. He missed the rest of 2020 and went on to sit out for the entirety of 2021.
He didn’t play again until October 19th, 2022. Despite his injuries, he scored 12 points and picked up right where he left off. There’s no telling where he might go from there, but it seems he’s finally healed after spending so much time in recovery.
Murray is a tough competitor who has fought through several injuries throughout his career. While he’s missed most of the last two seasons, he’s still a young player with a ton of potential. As long as he stays healthy, he will be around for a long, long time.