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Ja Morant’s injury update: Will he play in game 2 against the Lakers?

The Memphis Grizzlies were dealt two blows in their opening playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers. They lost and their star left the court with an injury.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) dribbles as Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17)
Petre ThomasUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

There’s a lot of tension between the two teams coming into this one, which is to say both camps will be eager to put one over on the other. The problem now is Memphis’ star player was forced off the court with an injury during what turned out to be a loss.

Grizzlies’ Ja Morant leaves the court with a hand injury

Game 1 in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies ended on a significant low for head coach Taylor Jenkins and his team. Not only did they lose the opener 128-112, but Grizzlies star Ja Morant left the court midway through the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a hand injury. Morant attacked the rim in an attempt to dunk on Anthony Davis. However, the big man didn’t have it, resulting in a mid-air collision. Morant fell awkwardly and seemed to hurt his hand as he tried to break his fall. The Grizzlies’ playmaker was then escorted to the locker room and did not return.

Update: Ja Morant’s initial scans came back clean

If we go with initial reports, Morant’s scans have returned negative, saying there is no severe damage to his right hand. The Grizzlies star isn’t out of the woods, but at least he and the team aren’t faced with the immediate prospect of a long-term absence after the first game of the postseason.

Despite receiving negative results from X-rays, Morant expressed concerns about his availability for Wednesday’s Game 2, stating that his status was “in jeopardy.” Morant revealed that he was experiencing significant pain after the Memphis Grizzlies’ 128-112 loss. The injury was sustained during a previous game against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 7, and Morant had been playing with his hand lightly wrapped. Surprisingly, Morant was not listed on the official injury report. Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins stated before the game that Morant would have no limitations due to the sore hand.

Morant revealed that his pain threshold and ability to use his right hand effectively would determine his availability for Wednesday’s game. Despite not wearing a wrap on his hand during postgame comments, Morant expressed his determination to be there for his team on the court. As an All-Star player who averaged 26.2 points and 8.1 assists this season, Morant emphasized that he would do everything possible to play. However, he also acknowledged that he wouldn’t want to risk hurting the team if he didn’t feel capable of performing at his best.