Jazz center Rudy Gobert went down with a knee injury just 11 seconds into Utah’s Game 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. During the game, Gobert was taken offsite for an MRI and according to Yahoo! Sports Shams Charania, Gobert suffered a hyperextended left knee with a bone bruise.
Gobert banged knees with Luc Mbah a Moute as Gordon Hayward came around an off-ball screen on the Jazz’s first possession. He was unable to get to his feet under his own power and was carried to the locker room by multiple teammates.
The Jazz will need Gobert moving forward
While the Jazz stole Game 1, they will still need Gobert moving forward. Hayward may be Utah’s lone All-Star, but Gobert makes the Jazz tick. He has more of an impact on both ends of the floor than any other teammate, and his rim protection (2.6 blocks per game) is the staple of one of the league’s best defenses.
Gobert is arguably the front-runner for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, and potentially losing him for the series (or longer) could crush Utah’s chances at competing for a second-round playoff appearance after its most successful regular season since the Jerry Sloan era.
It is unclear on what the recovery time for Gobert will be at this time.