Dec 7, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward JJ Hickson (7) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Nuggets defeated the Sixers 103-92. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Hickson Out for Year with Torn ACL

JJ Hickson’s 2014 season is officially over.  An MRI done on Saturday revealed a tear of his ACL and it will require surgery.  He is the 4th Nuggets Player to go out for the season this year and this continues a difficult and injury riddled season for the Nuggets.  Hickson has been a solid performer for the Nuggets since they picked him up as a Free Agent in the offseason from the Portland Trailblazers.  He has played in all 69 of Denver’s games this season, starting in 52 of those.  He started the first 52 games and then was made a reserve in late February to open up a spot in the starting line-up for Timofey Mozgov.  Hickson leads the Nuggets in rebounding averaging 9.2 per game which includes another team high with 3 offensive rebounds per contest.  He also has averaged 11.8 points and 1.3 assists on the season showing that the confidence the Nuggets had in signing him in the offseason was worth the money.  The loss of Hickson will open the door for a couple of players to get more minutes in the remaining 13 games starting tonight against the Washington Wizards at Pepsi Center.  Most likely Darrell Arthur, Anthoney Randolph and Quincy Miller will log Hickson’s 27 minutes per game for the Nuggs and should be able to maintain some of the scoring, rebounding and energy that Hickson brought to the court each night.  There hasn’t been a final prognosis on Hickson’s return next season, but as we have seen with the same injury to Danilo Gallinari, there are no constants in return from injuries of this type.  Let’s hope that Hickson is able to get his surgery done soon and start his rehab before the season is over and there may be a chance that we see him on the court in powder blue before the year turns over in January.  Randolph, Miller and Arthur need to take this opportunity and prove they belong on an NBA Roster and fill the gap left by the talented and likeable Hickson.  Head Coach Brian Shaw must be wondering what he did wrong to endure this type of  season with the multitude of injuries the Nuggets have sustained.  The Roster has become something of a merry-go-round and there have been enough different starting line-ups written to rival Moby Dick.  Good luck to  JJ on a swift and successful return and let’s see how the players sent in to replace his minutes fare the rest of the season.  As always you can follow your Denver Nuggets on Twitter @Nugg_Love.

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