Reinforcements are on the way.
After suffering their fifth consecutive loss on Monday night, Utah received some positive news on Tuesday.
The Jazz gave updates on veterans Mike Conley and Rudy Gay, two players who have been so crucial to their early-season success when they played like one of the best teams in the NBA.
Conley has missed the past five games after suffering a popliteus strain in his left leg following a collision with Portland's Jusuf Nurkic on Saturday, Nov. 19.
"Early signs seemed like they were checking out," he said that night. "I was going through that process while laying on the floor. I was testing it myself."
Conley has progressed to running and has incorporated on-court movements with shooting. He will continue daily rehab and treatments and will remain day-to-day.
That's a massive sign for Utah, as he's been indispensable for the Jazz this season.
His veteran presence has been the most significant thing missing during Utah's losing streak. His ability to get the team into proper sets at the end of games and excuse offensively is unmatched and vital to success.
For Gay, his return to competition is a little more undetermined as he's dealing with a third MCP joint sprain in his left hand. He hasn't played since Nov. 13, and Utah has gone 2-6 in games without him.
Gay has progressed to on-court ball handling, shooting, and has taken part in portions of practice. He will progress as tolerated.
While his numbers remain modest at 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game, his veteran leadership has proven invaluable to Utah's second unit. There's a reason the Jazz lead the NBA in bench scoring, and a lot of it has to do with Gay's calming presence and ability to affect the game in many ways.
While it's still unknown when both players will return to the court, it's safe to say that the Jazz will greatly benefit from the addition of their two most veteran leaders.
Until then, Utah is looking at their absence with a positive mindset.
"It's gonna be good for us just getting all the guys all the reps we need and different lineups that we might end up needing at the end of the year," Lauri Markkanen said. "So I'm sure we will learn from this experience."