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Donovan Mitchell was helped off the court in the Utah Jazz’s game Friday.
It’s been relatively smooth sailing for the Utah Jazz this season, sitting at 41-14 with the NBA‘s best record, best point differential, third-best offense and fourth-best defense. They’ve looked like legitimate title contenders, due in large part to the absolute tear Donovan Mitchell has been on.
Now the entire Jazz and NBA fanbase will be holding its collective breath for the 24-year-old star after he had to be helped off the court during Utah’s game against the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
Early in the third quarter, Mitchell was chasing down a loose ball recovered by Pacers guard Edmond Sumner. As Sumner launched the ball downcourt to his teammate Malcolm Brogdon, Mitchell jumped up to try and deflect the pass. Sumner’s leg swung out as he fell to the ground, trapping Mitchell’s ankle underneath and twisting it badly.
Mitchell tried to get up but immediately doubled over and reached out for his teammate Royce O’Neale, unable to put any pressure on it. He did not return to the game, being ruled out with a right ankle sprain.
Warning: The video is not graphic, but it may be uncomfortable for some viewers.
Here’s hoping Donovan Mitchell is all right
The good news is, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the initial X-rays came back negative. He will receive an MRI on that ankle later tonight, and there’s optimism it’s a sprain that isn’t too serious.
Over his last five games, Mitchell had been averaging 36.8 points per game — the highest scoring average for a Jazz player over any five-game stretch since Karl Malone back in 1998, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein. The young shooting guard has been Utah’s leading scorer all season long, averaging a career-high 26.5 points, 5.3 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game on 38.5 percent shooting from 3-point range entering Friday’s action.
Here’s hoping the injury isn’t as severe as it looks and that he’ll be back on the court again soon, not just for the Jazz’s hopes of contending, but also for the sake of Mitchell and basketball fans everywhere.