Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley Jr. will remain sidelined for Wednesday’s Game 5 against the LA Clippers because of the right hamstring strain that has sidelined him for all of the Western Conference semifinals so far.
Conley hasn’t played since suffering the injury during the first half of the Jazz’s series-ending Game 5 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on June 2. He said Wednesday that he suffered a setback, leading to his prolonged absence.
“I had been pushing really hard to play earlier in the series [and] had a small setback related to the hammy during that process,” Conley said. “This is why it’s been extended a little bit longer than I know we all would like. Obviously, if I could play, I would. There’s no question about that. But the progress we’re making now is really good. It’s just a little delayed.”
Conley said he still believes he could return during this series, which is tied 2-2 entering Wednesday’s game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
“I would love to be out there every one of these games, but going forward, there’s a balance of doing what’s right for our team and thinking about our goals going forward,” Conley said. “If we can find a way to get a win here and there and give me a couple more days to hopefully feel a little bit better going forward, this series is still very much in play.”
Conley, 33, has missed significant time because of injuries to both hamstrings during his two seasons in Utah. During the 2020-21 regular season, he missed six games in February and nine games in late April and May because of tightness in his right hamstring.
Joe Ingles has replaced Conley in the starting lineup in each of the first four games against the Clippers and is averaging 16.3 points and 4.0 assists in the series.