Walker Kessler Will Miss Third Week With Elbow Injury

Nov 20, 2023, 12:44 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – On Monday the Utah Jazz announced that Walker Kessler will miss at least another week with his left elbow injury.

Originally diagnosed with an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain in his left elbow on November 8, the Jazz said the second-year center would be reevaluated in two weeks’ time.

Just short of the two-week mark, the team updated the injury timeline indicating that Kessler had returned to the floor for some on-court activities.

“Walker Kessler continues to make progress and has been cleared to begin basketball contact this week,” the Jazz said in a release. “The injury was sustained during Utah’s season-opening game against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 25. He will be reevaluated in one week.”

Kessler said the injury was improving, but he doesn’t want to rush his way back onto the court before he’s healthy.

“I’m feeling better and taking it day by day, working with the staff,” Kessler said. “I’m excited to get back out there, but don’t want to skip out on any of the treatment.”

Kessler Off To Slow Start Before Injury

After a stellar rookie campaign, Kessler was off to a slow start in his sophomore season averaging 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in his first eight appearances.

The center was also shooting just 55 percent from the floor after nearly leading the NBA last season in that category at 72 percent.

Related: Walker Kessler Named Top 25 Under 25 By ESPN

The Jazz are 2-4 in Kessler’s absence and have seen their defensive rating worsen from 117.9 with the Auburn product in the lineup to 121.6 in his absence.

“I think we’re a lot better than what our record shows,” Kessler said of the Jazz’s 4-9 start to the year, “and I think that throughout the season that will continue to be apparent.”

Veteran forward John Collins has averaged 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in place of Kessler while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 58 percent from three.

Prior to Kessler’s next injury evaluation, the Jazz will have games on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, before returning home to host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Walker Kessler Will Miss Third Week With Elbow Injury