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Mike Conley, awaiting MRI results on left knee, says early signs are positive

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Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk, right, talks to guard Mike Conley, who sits on the court after being injured during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk, right, talks to guard Mike Conley, who sits on the court after being injured during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

AP

PORTLAND — Mike Conley went around a Jusuf Nurkic screen, chasing after Damian Lillard, and planted his left leg.

The Utah Jazz veteran guard said it felt like the whole leg locked up.

“Just trying to get over (the screen) because Dame is gonna shoot it if I don’t get over,” Conley said of the play in the third quarter Saturday night against the Portland Trail Blazers that sidelined him for the rest of the contest.

“All my weight just went straight back into my knee. Initially I didn’t know what had happened. Felt probably worse at the time than hopefully it’s gonna turn out to be, but it was (a) pretty uncomfortable feeling.”

Conley stayed down on the court after Lillard scored and waited for team trainers and medical personnel to come to him on the court.

He knew that he was in pain, but as he was testing out the leg — bending, stretching and prodding — he started to gain a little confidence that the injury might not be as bad as he had originally thought when he went down.

“I was going through that process while laying on the floor, testing it myself,” Conley said. “It was like ‘Alright, it’s not that, it’s not this’...and they checked it out.

“Kind of want to get the MRI to double check. We’ll know more here shortly in the next day or so.”

Conley had an MRI on the left leg during the second half of the Jazz’s 118-113 win over the Trail Blazers and made it back to the locker room in time to watch the last couple minutes of the game.

While Conley was walking in the locker room after the game with a significant limp following prolonged icing and said that he felt sore, he also seemed to be in good spirits and said he’s hopeful that the MRI will show that there’s not a significant injury.

“Early signs seem OK,” he said.