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The Memphis Grizzlies kicked off their 2023 playoff run with a thud, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers, 128-112, in Game 1 of the first-round series. Only, that wasn’t the most worrisome loss of the day.

In the fourth quarter, Ja Morant rose up for a dunk attempt over Anthony Davis and landed awkwardly on his right hand. The star point guard immediately left the game and wasn’t able to return. Memphis might not stand a chance against LeBron James and the Lakers without their best player on the court, so what’s the latest update on Morant’s hand injury and his possibility of returning in the series?

Ja Morant suffered a scary hand injury in Game 1 loss to the Lakers

Game 1 of the first-round playoff series between the Grizzlies and Lakers could’ve gone either way down the stretch. With less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, LA held a slim, four-point lead.

At the end of the shot clock, Ja Morant rose up for a dunk attempt over Anthony Davis and fell to the ground. In an attempt to brace his fall, the 23-year-old twisted his right hand awkwardly and shouted in pain. He immediately subbed out of the game and headed back to the locker room.

Morant returned to the bench with a wrap on his hand before the end of the game, but he was unable to sub back in. The Grizzlies faltered down the stretch without their point guard and went on to lose, 128-112, in Game 1.

Ja Morant injury update: Will he play in Game 2?

Ja Morant injures his wrist during Game 1 against the Lakers.
Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies injuries his hand during Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers | Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Grizzlies don’t stand much of a chance against the Lakers without Morant on the court, so how likely is it that he’ll be able to return in the series?

Well, let’s start with the injury itself. Morant suffered a bruised hand against the Milwaukee Bucks near the end of the regular season, and he played Game 1 with tape wrapped around his hand and fingers. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Morant reaggravated the injury during his hard fall.

The PG underwent an X-ray after the game that came back negative, but he admitted the pain level was “about a 10” and that his status for Game 2 is “in jeopardy.”

“I’m gonna do anything to try to be out there for my team, be out there on the floor, pretty much how much I can tolerate, to like I can go out there and be somewhat like myself,” Morant said, per The Athletic. “If not, I don’t want to do anything to hurt the team.”

It sounds as if it will be a pain tolerance issue for Morant, so if he returns at some point in the series, he won’t be 100%.


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