Ja Morant injury update: Grizzlies star doubtful to return during playoffs with bone bruise in right knee

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Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant is doubtful to return during the playoffs, as an MRI revealed a bone bruise in his right knee, the team announced on Tuesday. Morant injured his knee in the second half of Saturday’s Game 3 loss to the Golden State Warriors and did not play in Game 4.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said that the injury occurred when Warriors guard Jordan Poole yanked on Morant’s knee when seemingly swiping for the ball. The moment came with 6:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, and Morant was removed from the game then.

Morant tweeted afterward that Poole “broke the code,” but quickly deleted that tweet. It was in reference to what Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks, who was suspended for Game 3 after committing a flagrant foul against Warriors guard Gary Payton II in Game 2, who suffered a fractured elbow on the play. While Brooks was suspended a game for his part in Payton II’s injury, Poole will not face any punishment from the league for his actions.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson was not happy with Morant’s charge. “Me, personally. I’ve been through a tough knee injury. And I don’t think there’s any malicious intent from Jordan,” Thompson said. “I don’t even think he’s strong enough to affect somebody’s knee but we’re not out there trying to hurt people or trying to club people in the back of the head on a fast break. We play the game the right way.”

Morant was excellent in this series, averaging 38.3 points, 8.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game. Memphis went 20-5 without him during the regular season, which allowed the team to earn the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, and it led for much of Game 4. After a 101-98 loss on Monday, however, it is down 3-1 in the series and faces elimination on Wednesday.

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