It was one of those plays where a player just suddenly looks hurt. In this case, D’Angelo Russell was shown on YES bent over in pain, a referee with his hand on DLo’s back, seemingly asking if he needed help. As is often the case with worrisome injuries, it appeared to be a non-contact injury to his left knee.
It happened with 2:57 to go in the Nets loss to the Jazz. DLo had already scored 26 points and was leading a Nets comeback in Salt Lake City, a comeback that failed without him.
“No update. Checking him out now,” Kenny Atkinson said as the Jazz team doctor attended to Russell. “I didn’t really see it. I didn’t see the play. I think when he landed on a jump, I believe that’s when it happened. … We’re evaluating him now. I guess we’ll do more tests [Sunday].”
“Nobody knows. Everything is loose. So we’ve just got to hope for the best,” DeMarre Carroll added.
Russell has a history of issues with both his knees. He missed 11 games with the Lakers in November and December last season with left knee soreness. There was no surgery, but he needed a platelet-rich plasma injection at one point. Then he sat out three more games in late January with an injured right knee.
This season, Russell sat out the Nets big win over the Cavs in late October with a sprained right knee. He was back the next game.
At the time, Atkinson played down the injury, played up the Nets cautiousness as an organization.
“Nothing serious but we just want to be cautious. [He’s] a 22-year-old player, tweaked it a little, just day-by-day. We’ll look at it again [Thursday],” the coach said, advancing Russell’s age by a year. “Nothing long-term; day-to-day. I think we’re a cautious group.”
Assuming the Nets get Russell to undergo some tests Sunday, we can expect a “medical update” not long after. Hope for the best.