SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) – After not being mentioned on the Jazz injury report on Saturday, Donovan Mitchell will miss Utah’s first playoff game Sunday night.
Mitchell missed the last 16 games of the regular season after suffering an ankle sprain on April 16th against the Indiana Pacers. The hope was that he would be able to return for Game 1 against Memphis, but at 3:30 this afternoon, the Jazz tweeted that Mitchell was out.
“Obviously, Donovan being the competitor that he is, wants to be out there and hopefully will be out there soon,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “I think first and foremost in everyone’s mind is our players’ health. They’ll evaluate him day to day and hopefully he’ll be back out there soon. Like I said, he’s a competitor.”
After the morning’s shootaround, it sounded as if Mitchell was going to play.
“I feel good,” Mitchell said. “There’s always going to be soreness when you come back from an injury like this. There’s always going to be things that haven’t been activated. But I feel good, I’m ready to go tonight, no pain and I’m excited to get going.”
But after meeting with the Jazz training staff, although Mitchell reportedly did not suffer any setback, the team felt it was best to hold Mitchell out.
Joe Ingles will start in Mitchell’s place in the backcourt.
Snyder said that Mitchell is considered day to day at this point, acknowledging that “Donovan more than anyone” is anxious for his return.
“We want to see our guys out there,” Snyder said. “We’re working towards that. In Donovan’s case, he’ll continue to be evaluated and we’re hopeful that that will be the case soon.”