The Denver Nuggets have been looking for path back to relevancy since their successful 2012-13 campaign. Injuries have been a major limiting factor as the team has lost a player for 82 games twice in the past three seasons. Danilo Galinari missed all of the 2013-14 season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while a torn labrum suffered in the preseason cost forward Wilson Chandler 82 games last year. Add games lost for Jusuf Nurkic’s offseason knee surgery and a pair of significant ankle sprains for Galinari and it’s easy to understand how the Nuggets total games lost exceeded 200 games for the second time in the past three years.
Head athletic trainer Dan Shimensky has been at the helm for just one of those campaigns and has shown he’s capable of keeping the Nuggets injury totals below the league average. The fact that Denver will likely start the year at full strength is a testament to the hard work of Shimensky and his staff. 22-year-old shooting guard Gary Harris was expected to miss significant time with a groin strain but has progressed nicely and is expected to miss minimal time. The same goes for veteran Darrell Arthur who is working his way back from offseason knee surgery. If the Nuggets are to take that first step back toward the postseason, sustained health will have to play a role.