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Jazz Will Re-Evaluate Mitchell Next Week After Ankle Injury

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) walks up court after missing a shot in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Donovan Mitchell is expected to miss several games after suffering an ankle injury against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. The team announced on Saturday that Mitchell would be evaluated in one week.

Though the All-Star guard will miss time as the Jazz push to earn the top record in the Western Conference, there is relief that the injury wasn’t more serious.

“MRI on right ankle sprain of Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell revealed no structural damage, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “He’s expected to miss several games before he’s cleared to return.”

Mitchell turned his ankle early in the third quarter of the Jazz 119-111 win over the Pacers when he came down awkwardly challenging a pass from Indiana guard Edmond Sumner. The fourth-year guard fell to the ground clutching his leg before being helped off the floor by teammates.

“I saw him in the locker room, he was in great spirits,” All-Star teammate Rudy Gobert said after the win. “So hopefully we can get him back soon.”

The Jazz play just three games over the next seven days beginning on the road with a two-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday and Monday before traveling to face the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

The team then returns to Utah for a home and home series with the Minnesota Timberwolves beginning Saturday, April 24.

The Jazz own the best record in the NBA at 42-14 but lead the second-seeded Phoenix Suns by just 1.5 games in the West.

Mitchell is averaging 26.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds for the Jazz this season, though the team has fared well without him in the lineup. The Jazz are 3-0 so far this season in games Mitchell has missed, and erased a nine-point deficit in the second half against Indiana after the guard went down.

This is the first major injury for Mitchell who has only missed games sporadically throughout his first three and a half seasons with the Jazz. Teammate Mike Conley had advice for how the guard needs to approach his injury.

“You have to be able to take it each day by day,” Conley said. ” One day you’re going to have a good day, the next day you might get set back another day or two. You have to be mentally prepared for that.”

The Jazz and Lakers tip-off today at 2:30 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.