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Los Angeles •The Utah Jazz are going to have to make due without Rudy Gobert for at least one game.
The Jazz center will miss Tuesday's Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers with a hyperextended knee, the Jazz confirmed Monday morning. Gobert was hurt 11 seconds into Saturday's Game 1, when he knocked knees with Clippers forward Luc Mbah A Moute while setting a screen, which caused the hyperextension.
An ensuing MRI revealed no structural damage to the knee, and the Jazz say he will be re-evaluated following Game 2.
"His focus now is to get back and get healthy," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "Whether or not he can do that is another story. We're obviously going to miss him."
Gobert's status going forward will be determined game by game, The Tribune has learned. The Jazz big man is walking without crutches, which is encouraging. At the same time, healing the knee is expected to take some time.
Derrick Favors is expected to be the starter at the center spot. He played well Saturday, scoring 15 points and grabbing six rebounds. Jeff Withey is expected to be the backup center. Rookie Joel Bolomboy could be elevated to the active roster as well. He watched Game 1 in street clothes, but the former Weber State star has played well in limited minutes.
"I have to prepare to play like I prepared before I got hurt," Favors said. "Before I got hurt, I always played 32 to 35 minutes. So I have to go back to that. Without Rudy, we're all going to have to pick up the slack."
Gobert was present when the Jazz worked out on UCLA's campus Monday. He walked a little gingerly but without a limp. He shot around on a basket by himself and was generally in good spirits.
The Jazz take a 1-0 lead into Game 2 after their dramatic 97-95 victory over the Clippers on Saturday.
Raul Neto, who has missed more than a week with a sprained ankle, is listed as questionable on Utah's official injury list. But the point guard told The Tribune that he plans to play in Tuesday's Game 2.
Neto went through 5-on-5 drills with his ankle heavily taped in Monday's practice. He originally turned the ankle in a late-season loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
"The ankle is sore," Neto said. "But it felt good to be out there."
If Neto can play, it will be interesting to see how Snyder uses him. Neto had become Utah's primary backup point guard before the injury. His quickness, defense and playmaking stood out among the Jazz backup point guards.