SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz will play their first game of the NBA Playoffs on Sunday, and it looks like Donovan Mitchell will be back.
The All-Star has missed the last 16 games of the regular season with a sprained ankle, But Mitchell practiced with the team Thursday and he expects to play in Game One.
"Barring any setbacks, God forbid, knock on wood, but that's the goal," said Mitchell.
Mitchell suffered the injury on April 16, and while X-rays and an MRI showed no structural damage, it kept him out for a little over a month.
"I haven't been out this long since my 10th grade year in high school," said Mitchell. "The injury wasn't something to play with. It wasn't as minor as it was made out to be, I'll leave it at that. I definitely had some hurdles to climb, and we did a good job, and we'll continue to progress."
Mitchell said he had some soreness after practice, but no pain. Head coach Quin Snyder said he did notice some fatigue with Mitchell, but they have not talked about how many minutes Mitchell will play in Game One.
"I feel like I'm ready to play 48 [minutes], but at the end of the day you have to be smart as well because you can go out there and re-injure it as well," Mitchell said.
"The overriding thing for Don is that he's listening to his body and that will determine where he is," said Snyder.
"I think that's really it for me, just understanding how I am going to out there and integrate myself back into the lineup, and just continue to do what I do, and do what we do as a team, try to become champions," said Mitchell.