Rudy Gobert Leaves vs. Celtics After Suffering Left Knee Injury in 1st Quarter

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2017

Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Kim Raff)
Kim Raff/Associated Press

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert suffered a left knee injury during Friday night's road game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. 

The Jazz announced the post player "most likely" won't return to the contest. David Locke, the team's radio announcer, noted the injury occurred when teammate Derrick Favors rolled into his knee.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported early indications show Gobert suffered a grade one MCL sprain, though he still needs to undergo an MRI.

Gobert is coming off the best season of his NBA career. He averaged 14.0 points, 12.8 rebounds and a league-best 2.6 blocks per game en route to earning second-team All-NBA and first-team All-Defensive team honors.

When Gobert was on the court, the Jazz had a 100.6 defensive rating, according to NBA.com. Without the 25-year-old Frenchman, Utah's defensive rating rose to 107.5.

Especially after Gordon Hayward signed with the Boston Celtics, no player is more important to the Jazz's playoff hopes than Gobert.

Utah fans likely haven't forgotten when Gobert missed 18 games from December through early January during the 2015-16 season. The Jazz went 7-11 over that stretch and ultimately finished a game behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

The Jazz's supporting cast is collectively better than it was two years ago, but Gobert's injury could be a major blow nonetheless. Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh should see the biggest increases in playing time until he returns to action.

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