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Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler may miss multiple games with a left elbow sprain, per Tony Jones of The Athletic:
Tony Jones @Tjonesonthenba
Walker Kessler is doubtful tonight with a left elbow sprain. Some context. I’m hearing this is not expected to be a long term injury, but I’m also hearing this isn’t expected to be a one or even two game injury. The Jazz may have to go some games without their starting center
The origin of the injury is from the team’s season-opener against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 25, per Jones.
Kessler made the NBA All-Rookie First Team last season after a tremendous year when he averaged 9.2 points on 72.0 percent shooting, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He averaged 23.0 minutes over 74 games (40 starts).
This year hasn’t been as efficient for Kessler, who joined the starting lineup full time. He’s posted 8.3 points on 54.9 percent shooting, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks over 24.0 minutes per game.
Jones noted that Kessler has been dealing with the injury all season, which may explain why the 2023-24 season hasn’t been as prosperous. He’s still gone out there every day and put up some good performances, though, including a 22-point, 13-rebound outing versus the Denver Nuggets and a 15-point, 15-rebound, four-block game against the Chicago Bulls.
Unfortunately, it appears the Jazz will have to roll without Kessler for an undetermined period of time. Backup big man Kelly Olynyk could see more playing time in Kessler’s place, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Omer Yurtseven see more time off the bench as well.