After leaving the Disney campus for the birth of his son in Ohio, Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley returned to the NBA bubble on Monday night and could clear quarantine to play in Friday’s Game 3 against Denver, sources told ESPN.
The Jazz confirmed that Conley had returned to campus on Tuesday afternoon. There’s an expectation that he could be able to pass four coronavirus tests in the window prior to the 4 p.m. ET Game 3 in the first-round Western Conference playoff series, sources said.
The NBA researches a player’s contacts and possible exposure while outside the bubble, but Conley’s exit on Sunday morning to join his wife in a Columbus, Ohio, hospital for the birth of their son Elijah Michael likely makes his case stronger for the shorter four-day quarantine period.
Without Conley, the Jazz lost Game 1 in overtime 135-125 despite Donovan Mitchell‘s 57 points. The Jazz started Juwan Morgan in Conley’s absence. Utah lost its second-leading scorer, Bojan Bogdanovic, to wrist surgery prior to the restart.
Conley has averaged 18 points and five assists in the Orlando, Florida, restart. He was part of a key summer trade with the Memphis Grizzlies that the Jazz hoped would help elevate them in the Western Conference playoffs.