Mitchell returns to practice, hoping to play in Game 1

Alex Goodlett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell practiced Thursday for the first time since suffering a sprained ankle on April 17 and plans to return for Utah's opening playoff game Sunday.

"My ankle feels good. Today definitely felt like my first time back," Mitchell told reporters, including the Salt Lake Tribune's Eric Walden, after practice. "I've been progressing well for the last two weeks, I'd say. ... The injury wasn't as minor as it was made out to be."

Barring any setbacks, Mitchell said "the goal" is to be in the lineup for Game 1 against the West's No. 8 seed, which will be either the Golden State Warriors or Memphis Grizzlies. The two teams face off Friday in a winner-take-all matchup to conclude the play-in tournament, with the winner advancing to play top-seeded Utah.

The Jazz (52-20) managed to go 10-6 without their leading scorer available. Mitchell has been exceptional in 53 appearances this season, averaging 26.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 38.6% from distance.

Mitchell returns to practice, hoping to play in Game 1
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