Update: Saturday, April 17 at 9:45 AM EST
Donovan Mitchell avoided disaster, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Saturday that the All-Star guard had no structural damage to his sprained right ankle:
It appears as though Mitchell won’t miss a ton of time, but Utah faces somewhat of a dilemma.
The Jazz have to balance their pursuit of first place in the Western Conference with being cautious enough to ensure Mitchell is fresh and as close to full health as possible for the playoffs.
The Utah Jazz suffered a devastating loss in Friday’s home game against the Indiana Pacers, as All-Star Donovan Mitchell left the court in the third quarter with a lower-leg injury.
SportsCenter had the footage of what happened to Mitchell, as he couldn’t place weight on his right foot:
Mitchell has been the catalyst for the Jazz’s stunning rise to the top of the Western Conference this season. He entered Friday’s action averaging 26.5 points per contest, good for ninth in the NBA.
The 24-year-old lead guard appeared to turn his right ankle severely, and the hope is that Mitchell’s injury is worse than it appeared on first glance.
A short turnaround from the Orlando bubble playoffs and a condensed NBA schedule is thought to be a big contributor to key injuries for star players such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Jamal Murray.
In Mitchell’s case, there’s still a chance he won’t miss extended time. If he does, the Jazz will be hard-pressed to stay as the West’s No. 1 seed, as the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers are in hot pursuit.
Read More: Dwyane Wade buys Utah Jazz ownership stake