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Nuggets' J.J. Hickson out for the season with ACL tear in right knee

The Nuggets announced Saturday that forward J.J. Hickson will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.

The injury occurred during Denver's 122-106 road loss to Dallas on Friday. With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and Dallas leading 97-88, Hickson fell to the court as he tried to plant on the right block. Replays showed his leg give away without any direct contact from an opponent and Hickson immediately limped off. He departed with 18 points (on 8-for-12 shooting) and eight rebounds in 24 minutes.

First-year coach Brian Shaw has used Hickson as both a starter and a reserve this season. Shaw started a frontline of Timofey Mozgov, Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler against Dallas, while also using forwards Darrell Arthur and Anthony Randolph off the bench. Hickson's minutes can be absorbed by that group, and his absence could also open up some time for Jan Vesely, who was acquired from the Wizards in a trade deadline move. 

Denver has been hit hard by the injury bug this year: Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (leg) and Nate Robinson (knee) are all out for the season.

The Nuggets fell to 31-38 with their loss to the Mavericks and now sit 9.5 games out of the West's playoff picture with 13 games to go.

Hickson, 25, averaged 11.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game over 69 appearances for Denver. The sixth-year forward, known for his volume rebounding but not for his defense, signed a three-year, $16.1 million contract with the Nuggets last summer.

Video via YouTube user NBAShowtimeHD9

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