The Nuggets announced Monday that forward Kenneth Faried sprained a ligament in his left ankle but avoided further damage when he stepped on the foot of Blazers guard Will Barton during Denver's 118-109 home win on Sunday.
Faried was forced from action on Sunday and will be sidelined for the Nuggets' final two regular-season games. He will be listed as day-to-day for the playoffs, which begin this weekend.
The injury occurred less than three minutes into the first quarter when Faried attacked the center of Portland's defense, only to roll his left ankle by stepping on Barton's right foot. Denver immediately called timeout and Faried was carried to the locker room by his teammates. The second-year forward, who earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors earlier this season, departed with zero points and zero assists in three minutes.
The Nuggets initially announced that an X-ray of Faried's ankle was negative; a follow-up MRI was also negative.
The Nuggets are currently 55-25 and hold a one-game lead over the Clippers and the Grizzlies for the Western Conference's No. 3 seed. Denver will wrap up its regular season with games at Milwaukee on Monday and in Denver against the Suns on Wednesday. Faried, 23, holds season averages of 11.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1 block per game. He had appeared in all 80 games for the Nuggets this season prior to this injury.