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J.J. Hickson suspended 5 games for drug violation

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The Denver Nuggets center will miss the first five games he's able to play.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets center J.J. Hickson will miss five games of the regular season for breaking the NBA's anti-drug policy, the league announced Wednesday. The Denver Post's Chris Dempsey first reported the suspension and added the team is not expected to comment on the matter.

Players who have tested positive for marijuana three times receive five-game suspensions per the CBA.

Hickson is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in March and should begin his five-game suspension once he's deemed healthy enough to play. The center was one of four Nuggets who saw their seasons come to an end because of injury, joining Danilo Gallinari, Nate Robinson and JaVale McGee.

Last season was Hickson's first in Denver, and he averaged 11.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while playing in 69 outings and recording 26 double-doubles. His absence will provide an opportunity for Timofey Mozgov to continue his role as the Nuggets' center, and 20-year-old rookie Jusuf Nurkic could even see playing time if both Hickson and McGee remain sidelined to start the season.