Rudy Gobert is shooting again, but he won’t be playing for Utah just yet.
Gobert was originally hurt 11 seconds into Saturday’s Game 1, when he knocked knees with Clippers forward Luc Mbah A Moute while setting a screen, causing the hyperextension.
An ensuing MRI revealed no structural damage to the knee.
Gobert’s status going forward will be determined game by game, The Tribune has learned. The Jazz big man is walking without crutches, which is encouraging. At the same time, healing the knee is expected to take some time.
Gobert did practice on Monday. You know, sort of. He took some shots, and the team’s Twitter account posted the footage so their fans can pine for the center’s return.
“He’s out there limping and shooting,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters after practice on Monday. “Obviously from where we thought, at the moment he was injured your mind raced so being able to be on a crutch, that’s more progress than we thought at the moment.”
Snyder was happy to see Gobert upright and taking shots, but he didn’t have an overwhelmingly positive outlook on his timetable for return.
His focus now is to try and get back. Whether he can do that or not is another story. Players always think they’ll come back quicker than they can… they always want to come back as quick as they can. And he’s no different.
If the series somehow goes seven Gobert will have nearly two full weeks to recover—Game 7 is scheduled for April 30. Still, that’s asking a lot of Gobert’s recovery time and the Jazz would have to survive that long. Though they pulled off the Game One upset on the fourth-seeded Clippers, it might be tough to do it again while Gobert heals.