Injury issues continue to have a major impact on the NBA this season. This time, it's the Utah Jazz who have been impacted. During their game against the Indiana Pacers on Friday afternoon, Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell had to be helped off of the floor after suffering a lower leg injury during the third quarter.
The injury occurred when Mitchell landed awkwardly after he jumped to block an outlet pass. After spending a couple moments down on the court Mitchell was ultimately walked back to the locker room by his teammates. You can see the play where the injury occurred below:
Shortly after being helped to the locker room, the Jazz announced that Mitchell was diagnosed with a right ankle sprain and would not return to the game against the Pacers. X-rays on the ankle came back negative, and an MRI on the ankle revealed no structural damage, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. This is obviously good news for both Mitchell and the Jazz because when the injury initially happened it looked like it could be something more serious. Mitchell is still expected to miss several games before he's cleared to return to game action.
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Mitchell, who has only missed three games for the Jazz so far this season, is in the midst of the best campaign of his career. The 26.5 points and 5.3 assists per game that he is averaging are both career highs, as is the 38 percent that he's shooting from long distance. Thanks largely to Mitchell's play, the Jazz are the top seed in the Western Conference and they have the best overall record in the league. They only have a one-game lead over the Phoenix Suns for that top spot though, so they're obviously hoping that Mitchell won't have to miss too many games due to the ankle injury.