Hopefully this is not as bad as it looked initially.
Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates after what the team has called a sprained ankle suffered in the third quarter Friday against Indiana. He will not return to the game.
Donovan Mitchell (right ankle sprain) will not return.
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2021
The injury occurred as Mitchell landed from a jump to block an outlet pass and his ankle buckled. The full video is above, but this is a good look at what happened.
— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) April 16, 2021
The severity of the injury is unknown; with ankle sprains it is often the next day before there is a real sense of how long a player will be out. X-rays were negative and Mitchell will undergo an MRI of his ankle on Saturday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Lower ankle sprain and there's some early optimism that this isn't a major injury to Mitchell, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/dbv3PAMDbB
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 16, 2021
Mitchell had been playing his best basketball of the season, averaging 36.8 points per game in the five games before facing Indiana.
At 41-14, the Jazz have the best record in the NBA up to this point in the season (one game ahead of Phoenix). This season, part of Utah’s success is they have been the healthiest team among the contenders, not having lost a key part of their core for an extended period of time this season. That may now change, and we’ll see how Utah reacts with Mitchell out.
The bigger question is how long Mitchell will be out with the ankle sprain. We should know more about that in the coming days.