Donovan Mitchell’s already baffling ankle injury became even more serious on Sunday, when a team source confirmed the All-Star guard would skip the Utah Jazz playoff opener on Sunday night against the Memphis Grizzlies – just hours after telling the media he was ready to go.
After missing the team’s last 16 games of the regular season with a sprained ankle, the All-Star guard met the media just before noon Sunday, following a morning shoot, and announced that ‘He would be back in action for the playoff opener on Sunday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
“I’m ready to go tonight,” Mitchell said. “No pain. I’m happy to start.
About three and a half hours later, however, came a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski citing team sources as saying Mitchell was no longer supposed to play now.
The Tribune source confirmed Mitchell was indeed absent, but declined to provide details of what had changed, citing medical confidentiality laws.
At around 3:30 p.m., the team released their official injury report, listing Mitchell as “OUT” due to a sprained right ankle.
His return was eagerly awaited as the weeks dragged on after his injury on April 16, but it was also widely anticipated following his return to training last Thursday. Yet Mitchell said that day that while he was feeling fine (aside from some fatigue) and expected to play, he would need to string together several days of practice to assess reaction and condition. of preparation of his body.
He added on Sunday that if a bit of pain persists in his right ankle due to lack of use, it is nothing unexpected.
“The most important thing is that I feel good,” said Mitchell. “Like I said the other day, the best part about it is that there will always be pain when you come back from an injury like this, there will always be things that don’t. not activated – what has it been, five [weeks]? But I feel good.
Coach Quin Snyder said after Saturday practice that Mitchell’s fatigue and pain are not areas of concern and the guard’s progress is where it should be.
“Well, it’s not a huge stretch that you’ll be tired of if you haven’t played for a while,” Snyder said. “… You don’t go from zero to 100 right away, so I know there is a period of acclimatization. Having said that, I also think that, as Donovan told you, his approach is exactly where it needs to be.
Mitchell declined to say Sunday morning whether he, the Jazz coaching staff and medical staff had imposed a minute restriction on him, citing “game plan goals.”
The prediction for the first round playoff game between the Jazz and the Grizzlies is set for 7:30 p.m. at Vivint Arena. The game will be televised by TNT and AT&T SportsNet.