Aaron Gordon explains dog bite injury: ‘I probably had a little bit too much eggnog’

The NBA, like other professional sports leagues, sees its fair share of strange injuries annually. Whether we’re talking about the collapse of Kendrick Perkins’ bed or Lionel Simmons suffering tendinitis in his wrist from playing too much Nintendo Game Boy, basketball players are at risk of injury whether they’re on the court or off of it. In the case of Aaron Gordon, it was his own pet that has kept him out of Denver’s last two games.

On Christmas night, Gordon suffered injuries to his hand and face when his dog, a rottweiler, bit him. The injuries were initially given no timetable, but Gordon told The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando that he feels ready to play on Monday when the Nuggets face the Charlotte Hornets. He explained that he has played with stitches in his hands before, and he doesn’t care about the ones in his face. “We’re not running a pageant here,” he quipped. As for the incident itself? He told Durando that a bit of Christmas fun just got out of hand.

“I guess it’s a little bit embarrassing, but not too embarrassing to where I can’t talk about it,” he said. “I don’t drink a lot during the season. I probably had a little bit too much eggnog. I was kind of roughhousing with my dog, and I think my dog got a little excited and just basically chomped down. Gave me a bite. And I was basically wrestling him off of me, and then he bit my hand.

“For lack of better words, I was (messing) around with my dog, and when you (mess) around, you find out.”

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The Nuggets won their first game without Gordon, but lost their second. For the time being, it doesn’t seem as though he’ll miss a third. As for Gordon’s dog? The Nuggets forward acknowledged he might need a bit more training. He lives with Gordon’s father much of the time because of the hectic travel schedule that comes with playing in the NBA. For now, Gordon’s family is caring for the dog. All things considered, things could have been much worse for all parties involved.

“He’s a good boy. He’s a good dog,” Gordon said. “… Very attached. Very sweet. Very strong. Great dog.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone called Gordon “one of the more underrated players in the league.” Denver has been better on both ends with him on the court than off it this season, and its starting five – Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Gordon and Nikola Jokic – has outscored opponents by 17.7 points per 100 possessions in 311 minutes.

Gordon is averaging 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 32 minutes this season. His 3-point percentage has fallen to a career-low 25%, though he’s dunking at an impressive rate.

The reigning NBA champions currently sit in third place in the Western Conference with a 23-11 record. They’re just 2.5 games from the West’s top seed, currently occupied by the 24-7 Minnesota Timberwolves.