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Nuggets star Gordon absent due to dog bite

Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon will spend some time away from the team after being bitten by a family dog on Christmas Day.

Gordon required 21 stitches to his face and shooting hand following the incident.

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“He’s hanging in there,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

“Obviously, a very traumatic experience and the most important thing I told him is that you take as much time as you need. We’re a family – wins, losses, and when people go through tough times like Aaron’s going through right now.

“We have his back. We love him. We’re here for him. So whenever he’s able to come back, we’re going to open our arms up and embrace him. I told all the guys to make sure they’re reaching out to him, to make sure he’s never feeling like he’s on an island.”

Gordon is averaging 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Nuggets, who are 22-10 for the season as they attempt to defend their NBA crown.

He is a key cog in their machine but Malone won’t rush him back.

“We need him to heal inside and out,” he added.

“Going through something like that is not something you come back from easily. That’s something where you have to heal from the physical, but you also have to heal from the mental and what you just kind of went through.

“We want him back. We know we’re better off with him. But I want to support Aaron Gordon and make sure when he comes back, he’s ready to come back and play at the level that we know he’s capable.”

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