Donovan Mitchell Out for Jazz's Next 2 Games with Back Injury Diagnosed as Strain

Doric SamDecember 26, 2021

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) brings the ball up court in the second half during an NBA basketball game against then Sacramento Kings Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell will miss his team's upcoming road trip because of a lower back strain, per Tony Jones of The Athletic.

That means he will not take the floor against the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers.

Through 31 games this season, Mitchell has averaged 25.4 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

The 13th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Mitchell is one of the best young guards in the league. He has averaged at least 20 points in each of his four seasons, posting a career high of 26.4 in 2020-21. The Louisville product was named an All-Star in each of the last two seasons.

It is Mitchell's second consecutive season with an injury, as an ankle sprain sidelined him for the final 16 games last year before he returned in the postseason.

With Mitchell sidelined, Utah is without its floor general and top scoring option. Veteran point guard Mike Conley will take the bulk of the ball-handling duties. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson and swingman Joe Ingles are likely to see more playing time in Mitchell's absence.

The Jazz have five players who average double-digit points, but Mitchell is the only one of them to average over 20. Utah will have to rely on multiple players to replace Mitchell's scoring production.