Ja Morant’s aggressive playing style is part of what makes him such a special talent, but it also makes him susceptible to injuries. A few scary falls led to some missed games last season, and in Monday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, Morant suffered what the team is describing as a sprained left ankle. Fortunately, there is no fracture, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and the team is now awaiting results on an MRI scheduled for Tuesday.
The injury came with 2:43 left in the second quarter and the Grizzlies leading the Nets 51-45. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot went up for a jumper, and Morant, flying in from behind him, made a wild attempt at blocking his shot. Instead, he landed on Luwawu-Cabarrot’s foot, seemingly twisting his ankle. He immediately hopped off of the court in significant pain and had to be taken back to the locker room in a wheelchair.
Morant started this season on an absolute tear, averaging 36 points and eight assists in the first two Grizzlies games of the season. Memphis cannot afford to lose him for any meaningful period of time given the other injuries it is already dealing with. Jaren Jackson Jr. has not played yet this season due to a knee injury, and Justise Winslow is still recovering from a hip injury sustained in a practice ahead of the Orlando bubble restart.
Sure enough, Brooklyn was trailing by six when Morant went down, and by halftime, they had already reclaimed the lead, 55-54. The Grizzlies need Morant if they plan to push for the playoffs in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.