Forward Aaron Gordon returned to the hardwood on New Year’s Day for the Denver Nuggets after an incident on Christmas Day in which he was bitten by a dog. He played with a small protective bandage on his right hand and his facial cuts were barely visible.
Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets hugs former teammate Ish Smith of the Charlotte Hornets at Ball Arena on January 1, 2024.
The team had originally said Gordon might be gone for a while, but he rejoined the team in time for practice over the weekend. The Nuggets went 1-1 with him out of the lineup, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday and losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. Peyton Watson started in Gordon’s absence.
Gordon suffered cuts to his hand and face and had to get stitches.
Monday night’s game was a 111-93 blowout win for Denver over a Charlotte Hornets team missing several of their starters. Gordon had 10 points in his return, including an emphatic dunk in the first half.
“It’s always good having him out there, just his energy on the glass, or catching lobs, playing defense, whatever it is,” teammate Jamal Murray said. “Obviously, he was just trying to get his legs back tonight because he’s been out for a while. But just him being around was good. He was embraced by the whole team.