Mike Conley only just returned Tuesday night from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him for five games, but unfortunately, the Utah Jazz point guard has suffered a setback. He is now expected to miss multiple games -- and possibly weeks -- after reaggravating the injury against the Orlando Magic, according to Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic.
Conley first suffered the injury during a Dec. 2 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and had been out for the past two weeks while recovering. Given the failure of his initial return last night, holding him back until he is 100 percent makes sense for the Jazz especially in light of Conley's performance this season.
This has been perhaps Conley's worst season as a pro. His scoring is down to 13.6 points per game, his lowest mark since the 2011-12 season, and he is shooting only 36.5 percent from the field. With only 4.6 assists per game, he has hardly been the table-setting complement to Donovan Mitchell that the Jazz had hoped they had acquired, and at 32 years old, Utah is running out of time for a revival.
That makes getting him back to full strength imperative, especially as the schedule gets easier. Utah has started slowly in each of the past several seasons, but come on strong after its schedule lightened after the new year. The hope is that this year's group will do the same, but a Conley revival is central to that hope. If he keeps playing as he has, there just isn't much room for growth on this Jazz team.
Utah's all-in experiment has gone haywire so far this season, and Conley's health certainly isn't helping matters. If it takes a few games off to get him back on track, then so be it, but eventually, the Jazz are going to run out of excuses.