Grizzlies' Conley expected to play in Game 2
OAKLAND, Calif. — Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is expected to return to action a week after facial surgery and start in Tuesday’s playoff game against the Golden State Warriors.
Memphis coach Dave Joerger said he will monitor Conley closely in his first game back since he suffered multiple fractures around his left eye in an April 25 first-round playoff game against Portland. Conley underwent surgery two days later and has missed the past three playoff games.
“If I think he’s hurting us or does not look good, I’ll take him out,” Joerger said in his meeting with the media 90 minutes before the start of Game 2 against Golden State. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Conley has worn a protective mask while working out with the team the past three days. He went through his most extensive practice with the team on Monday and was on the court at the end of Tuesday’s shootaround discussing strategy with Joerger, center Marc Gasol and forward Zach Randolph. He was also on the court at Oracle Arena warming up an hour before the start of Game 2.
“I’ve been feeling better each day,” Conley said Tuesday. “The conditioning and timing, that will come. I feel like I can get out there and help the team. Hopefully, it all works out that way for us.”
The Grizzlies are 3-0 in the playoffs with Conley in the lineup but have lost two of three since he suffered the injury when he was inadvertently elbowed in the face by Blazers guard C.J. McCollum. Conley led the Grizzlies in assists during the season and was the team’s top 3-point shooter and second-leading scorer in the playoffs before he was injured. The eight-year veteran has also been dealing with a foot injury that has lingered since the final weeks of the regular season.
Without Conley, the Grizzlies struggled in the second half in a 101-86 loss to Golden State in Game 1.
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