Report: Donovan Mitchell Was 'Incensed' at Jazz over Being Held out with Injury

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2021

Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell, right, speaks with teammate Rudy Gobert (27) after he fouls out during the second half of Game 1 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was reportedly "incensed" with team doctors after being held out of Sunday's Game 1 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brian Windhorst and Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported Mitchell and the team have had tense disagreements regarding his recovery from an ankle sprain that's kept him out since April 16.

Signs pointed to Mitchell playing ahead of Game 1, as he was not listed on the team's injury report Sunday morning. However, the Utah training staff suggested Mitchell sit out after he went through shootaround.

The Jazz sorely missed Mitchell in their 112-109 loss to Memphis, with Rudy Gobert limited to 25 minutes because of foul trouble and Mike Conley shooting 6-of-18 from the field.

While Utah weathered the regular-season storm in Mitchell's absence, the margin for error shrinks considerably in the postseason—even against a heavy-underdog, upstart Grizzlies team.

"I try to stay out of all of this, because it's just going to give me a headache," Gobert said of Mitchell's status. "Hopefully, he's good for next game. That's all I'm worried about."

Some of the tension appears to be related to Mitchell working with his own personal training staff rather than the Jazz trainers. The ESPN report said Mitchell sought out help away from the team after his progress in recovery began slowly.

It's clear Mitchell feels he's ready to play, and the Jazz need him out there. However, if there's any chance of the injury recurring in later rounds, Utah's smart to be cautious in a series where they are still a favorite.