Kenneth Faried Injury: Updates on Nuggets Star's Neck and Return

Adam WellsFeatured Columnist

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Denver. Phoenix won 114-107. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Denver Nuggets star forward Kenneth Faried is battling an apparent neck injury that he suffered after colliding with teammate Will Barton during a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. However, he is ready to return.

Continue for updates. 

Faried Active vs. Trail Blazers

Sunday, Jan. 3

Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post reported Faried will try to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Faried Posts Update on Instagram

Sunday, Jan. 3

Faried Stretchered Off

Sunday, Jan. 3

According to Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears, Faried was placed on a stretcher with a brace around his neck with "lots of doctors around" after he exited the game and spent the duration of overtime being attended to on the baseline. 

Fortunately, Faried was able to give the crowd a thumbs up as he was wheeled off the floor, according to the Warriors' social media coordinator Julie Phayer

Faried was later transported to the hospital for precautionary X-rays, according to USA Today's Sam Amick.

Citing Nuggets head athletic trainer Dan Shimensky,'s Harrison Wind reported, "Faried's lower cervical vertebrates in his neck is the potential injury area." Wind added Faried will spend the night in the hospital since "the fear is a fracture or crack in one of those vertebrates."

Faried Vital to Struggling Nuggets

The 26-year-old is one of the few bright spots on a Nuggets team that has struggled to find consistency on both sides of the ball this season. Faried isn't a dynamic offensive weapon but does enough in the paint to keep opposing teams alert. 

Defense has always been Faried's calling card. He ranks second on the team in defensive win shares, per, and averages 2.8 more rebounds per game than the next closest player on Denver's roster. 

Injuries have never been a big concern for Faried, who has appeared in at least 75 games each of the previous three years. Veteran Darrell Arthur, who has become a trusted part of the Nuggets rotation during his three seasons with the team, is the backup if Faried is limited in his return.