Jazz point guard Mike Conley was limited to just 11 minutes and 35 seconds of playing time in Utah’s Game 5 victory after he reaggravated a nagging right hamstring injury.
Conley’s right hamstring forced him to leave the game in the first half with what the team called soreness. Conley has been sidelined twice already this season by issues involving the same hamstring. He is set to have an MRI on the injury Thursday morning.
“He’ll get evaluated after the game and over the course of the next 24 hours,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We’ll be able to tell you more then.”
“In the first quarter, I felt just the little tug or whatever in my hammy,” Conley said. “I made the bench and made the staff aware … but it just kept getting more and more sore as I was running on it so they decided to pull me.”
The former Memphis star was discouraged especially as he worked so hard in training and missed so many games at the end of the regular season to be ready for the playoffs.
“I’m frustrated, for sure, after … I put a lot of effort into showing up early, staying late, strengthening, running, conditioning, everything,” Conley said.
Per Sarah Todd of the Deseret News, Conley did not sound too concerned about the hamstring injury keeping him from playing in the Western Conference semifinals.
“It’s playoffs so my mindset is I’ll be ready to play,” Conley said, per the newspaper. “We’re gonna just see what happens in next few days and be smart about how we approach it going into this next series.”
Conley was solid in the first-round series against Memphis, averaging 17.4 points, 8.6 assists and shot 46.7% overall and 54.8% on 3-pointers against the Grizzlies. Per the Deseret News, Conley told the Jazz medical staff he felt a bit of a pull of his right hamstring in the first quarter. He played 8 minutes, 33 seconds in that first quarter, but just 3 minutes, 2 seconds in the second quarter before leaving the game for good.
The Jazz were up 51-34 when Conley subbed out in the second quarter. Given Utah’s big lead and final margin of victory — 126-110 — Conley opted to stay out of the game.
He played in 51 of Utah’s 72 games this season, missing time due to either right hamstring soreness or the injury management associated with it. He missed nine straight games late in the season because of it, but returned for the last two games of 2020-21 and played in every playoff game.
As Conley prepares for the fourth Western Conference semifinals appearance of his career — and first such run to that round with Utah — some rest days lie ahead. Utah will be off until at least Saturday as they await the outcome of the Dallas Mavericks-LA Clippers series.
“My mindset is I’m going to be ready to play,” Conley said, per The Salt Lake Tribune. “That’s kind of the visual I put in front of myself. I’m going to be ready.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.