Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is out indefinitely with a Grade II sprain of his left MCL, the team announced Wednesday night.
Gobert suffered the injury in practice and underwent an MRI. No surgery is needed on the knee, but there’s no timetable for his return to action:
So, if the last few sprains of the same severity are any indication, Rudy Gobert will be out 4-7 weeks and therefore 16-30 games.
— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) December 2, 2015
This is a brutal blow for a promising young Jazz team that sits at 8-8 and just nearly ended the Golden State Warriors’ winning streak. Gobert is the centerpiece of Utah’s defense as arguably the best rim protector in the NBA, so it’s going to be tough to replace his presence in the middle.
Gobert is averaging 9.2 points, 10.9 blocks and 2.6 blocks in 34.2 minutes per game this season.
With Gobert on the sidelines for the near future, starting power forward Derrick Favors will have to step up. The backup centers are Tibor Pleiss and Jeff Withey, two players who aren’t very experienced. Trevor Booker and possibly Trey Lyles will be in line for more playing time, and Jazz head coach Quin Snyder will also likely experiment with some smaller lineups thanks to their plethora of wing talent.