SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 21, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell returned to practice Thursday after missing more than a month of action with a sprained right ankle, and believes he is on track to be ready for game one of the NBA playoffs.
“That’s the goal,” Mitchell said by way of a news release. “Barring any setbacks — god forbid, knock on wood. The goal is to be out there and helping my teammates to try and win a championship. That’s been the goal all year.”
Mitchell sprained his right ankle in a game against the Indiana Pacers on April 16. The injury “wasn’t as minor as it was made out to be” by some, Mitchell said, forcing him to be sidelined for the final 16 games of the regular season.
“It definitely was a tough process,” Mitchell said. “For me, I haven’t been out this long since my 10th-grade year in high school. Definitely it was as much a mental game as a physical one.”
Mitchell was cleared for a full practice Thursday, as the Jazz prepare to face either the Memphis Grizzlies or the Golden State Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs, beginning Sunday night.
Mitchell said he felt he had been trending in the right direction for the past two weeks and felt ready to play 48 minutes if called upon Sunday, though he had not yet had conversations with his coaches or trainers about possible restrictions ahead.
“At the end of the day, you have to be smart,” he said.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.