SALT LAKE CIT (ABC4 Sports) – As the Utah Jazz try to make a push for the playoffs in the final week of the NBA regular season, the team will most likely have to do it without starting center Walker Kessler.
Kessler was placed in concussion protocol after taking an elbow to the face during Sunday’s loss to Brooklyn from teammate Talen Horton-Tucker.
According to the NBA’s protocol, a player can’t return until he is without concussion symptoms at rest, has been evaluated by a physician, has passed the league’s return-to-exertion protocols and has had his team physician consult the director of the NBA’s concussion program.
Kessler is expected to be out 7-10 days, which would force him to miss the rest of his rookie season.
“He’ll get reevaluated tomorrow after getting hit in the face or the side of the head with an elbow,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said after Sunday’s game. “Kind of a weird play on a rebound, but the docs looked at him tonight and didn’t want him to come back in the game.”
Since becoming a starter for the Jazz in January, Kessler is averaging 11.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. Kessler has three games with seven blocked shots. He is certain to make the NBA All-Rookie team.
The Jazz have lost six of its last seven games, and are a game and a half out of the play-in tournament. Utah next hosts the Lakers on Tuesday.