The Utah Jazz will be without guard Donovan Mitchell for the time being, but there was some good news regarding his sprained right ankle after he left Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported Saturday morning that Mitchell was expected to miss "several games before being cleared" after his MRI showed no structural damage.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Mitchell's 29.6 points per game since the All-Star break put him on pace for the highest average by a Jazz player since Karl Malone in 1990-91 (30.5).
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Donovan Mitchell has been averaging 29.6 PPG since the All-Star Break, the most by a Jazz player since Karl Malone averaged 30.5 after the Break in 1990-91. Mitchell's three 40-point games in April are also the most in a month by a Jazz player since Malone had 4 in Jan. 1990. https://t.co/rcImZdFVq6
Mitchell had to be helped to the locker room midway through the quarter after an awkward landing when he was trying to deflect a pass.
Wojnarowski reported after the game there was "some early optimism" from the Jazz that Mitchell's injury wasn't major after his X-rays came back negative.
Utah was able to hold off the Pacers for a 119-111 win without Mitchell for most of the second half. The 24-year-old has been the best player for a team that's trying to stay atop the Western Conference standings, averaging a career-high 26.4 points and 5.2 assists per game in 53 starts.
Jordan Clarkson will likely take on an increased role with Mitchell out. He's averaging a career-high 17.2 points per game and leads the NBA with a 94.6 free-throw percentage.
The Jazz are currently the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference at 42-14. They lead the Phoenix Suns by 1.5 games with 16 games remaining in the regular season.