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August 6, 2021

Donovan Mitchell won’t be on the bench for Utah’s road trip this weekend. Here’s why

SALT LAKE CITY — In this case, no news is good news for Utah Jazz fans.

Donovan Mitchell won’t play in Utah’s regular-season home finale Wednesday against Portland, and he won’t be on the bench for the Jazz’s upcoming road trip this weekend before the playoffs. But his progress in a return-to-play from an ankle injury suffered nearly a month ago shows promise.

After another evaluation Tuesday on his injured ankle, Mitchell will remain in Salt Lake City to continue treatment, the Jazz announced Tuesday.

Mitchell sustained a significant lower-ankle sprain to his right ankle April 16 in the Jazz’s 119-111 win over the Indiana Pacers. He hasn’t played since, but the Jazz have provided regular updates on the injury — first saying the star guard would miss at least a week, then adding another week to his recovery before the most recent update.

Mitchell will be re-evaluated prior to the start of the NBA playoffs, the team said.

The fourth-year guard is averaging 26.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game for the Jazz, who currently lead the NBA with a 50-19 record and a 1.5-game lead on Phoenix for the top seed in the Western Conference. Coming off a 119-116 loss at Golden State, the Jazz finish out the season Wednesday against Portland, followed by a trip Friday to Oklahoma City and Sunday to Sacramento.

Mitchell won’t be in tow for either for those last two games. But if history serves form, he will be live-tweeting while watching his teammates and appears to be on track for a return in time for the postseason.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Donovan Mitchell is a third-year guard; he is a fourth-year guard.

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