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Donovan Mitchell to miss two-game road trip with back strain

After tweaking his back against the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day, Mitchell will miss at least the next two games.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, wearing black, goes past Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, right, goes past Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson during an NBA game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021.
Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

Donovan Mitchell will not accompany the Utah Jazz on their upcoming two-game road trip to San Antonio and Portland.

The Jazz’s All-Star guard will instead remain in Salt Lake City to receive treatment for a lower left back strain.

Late in the first quarter of the Jazz’s Christmas Day win over the Dallas Mavericks, Mitchell went into the tunnel toward the Jazz locker room. Team officials said that Mitchell was experiencing some tightness in his back, but after some stretching with team trainers he got the all clear and returned to the game.

After the game Mitchell described the incident as a tweak that made it hard to move, but also pointed to the fact that he was able to make some pretty athletic plays after he returned to the game.

“I threw the pass to Mike (Conley) and it just, I don’t really know how to describe the feeling,” Mitchell said. “It’s just like you can’t move and you have to kind of stand straight up. But I got it worked on and I dunked right after that, so I’m alright.”

With 7:40 remaining in the second quarter, Mitchell made a spin move to the basket. He converted on the bucket and drew a foul, but he seemed to have some trouble standing up and came away from the play grimacing a bit.

Later in the second quarter Mitchell scored on an emphatic two-handed dunk with seemingly no discomfort.

On Sunday the Jazz told reporters that Mitchell would be out for the next two games and stay in Utah to undergo additional treatment for his back strain.

The Jazz are scheduled to play the San Antonio Spurs on Monday and the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, both on the road, before returning home for a two-game home back-to-back against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Dec. 31) and the league-leading Golden State Warriors (Jan. 1).