3:19pm: Today’s MRIs for Rubio and Sefolosha came back clean, sources tell Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). However, Rubio is still expected to miss about two weeks, while Sefolosha will likely be sidelined for 10-12 days.
9:17am: The injury bug is hitting the Jazz, with league sources telling Tony Jones of The Athletic that backup point guard Dante Exum is expected to miss “a few weeks” after badly spraining his left ankle on Saturday.
After straining a hamstring in that same game, Thabo Sefolosha is scheduled for a Tuesday morning MRI, according to Jones, who reports that there’s “some optimism within the organization” that Sefolosha could return to the rotation within a few weeks.
On top of those two injuries, starting point guard Ricky Rubio suffered a strained hamstring of his own on Monday night and will also have an MRI today, Jones notes. The Jazz are hoping Rubio’s injury isn’t serious, but it appears they’ll enter Wednesday’s game against Orlando with Raul Neto as their only healthy point guard. While Neto’s role will increase substantially, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles also figure to take on more of ball-handling and play-making responsibilities in that game, Jones writes.
At 20-21, Utah is outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference at the season’s halfway mark. The Jazz can’t afford to slip any further back in the standings, so it will be interesting to see if they turn to the trade market for possible point guard help if Rubio has to miss more than just a game or two, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports.
Signing a player to a 10-day contract would also be an option for the Jazz, though they don’t have an open roster spot to accommodate a new addition. The club also has until January 15 to replace one of its two-way players, if it so chooses.