Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant avoided a serious knee injury in Friday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks, head coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters Sunday. However, the budding star is expected to miss at least a "couple of weeks" with a left knee sprain.
"We're so thankful we avoided a significant injury," Jenkins said. "We expect a full recovery, and this is nothing long term that we're worried about."
Morant exited in the first quarter of Friday's game while dribbling the ball toward the paint. He began limping and passed the ball before walking off the court in the middle of play.
Morant has been one of the best young players in the NBA since the Grizzlies selected him with the second overall pick in the 2019 draft. He won the Rookie of the Year award during the 2019-20 campaign and built upon that last season, when he averaged 19.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game.
The 22-year-old is averaging 24.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists through 19 games this season, helping lead the Grizzlies to a 9-10 record, ninth place in the Western Conference.
Morant has been quite durable through his first three NBA seasons. However, he missed time during his rookie and sophomore campaigns with back and ankle injuries.
The Murray State product's injury is certainly concerning given his impact on the Grizzlies lineup. Memphis will have to fill the void with a combination of Tyus Jones and Ziaire Williams until he's ready to return to the court.