The Utah Jazz’s lone injury scratch in the early season — perpetually maligned point guard Raul Neto — is still unable to take the hardwood for the team.
We may be just four games into the 2018-19 NBA season, but the campaign already has a different feel for the Utah Jazz. In recent years, the team has more or less been put behind on the eight ball on the injury front from Jump Street, with a multitude of players occupying the inactive list from Game 1.
This year, the team has actually been healthy, save for one exception: point-man Raul Neto. The 26-year-old has been battling a right hamstring issue since the beginning of training camp. And it looks as though Neto’s return to action has been further delayed.
Per an announcement from the Jazz, Neto was examined on Thursday and is making progress toward a return. However, there’s been no change in his playing status; he’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks time.
It’s a shame, really — not only could the Jazz use him as another option in a struggling backcourt, but Neto’s ’18-19 season is starting to feel a lot like his ’17-18 campaign.
Neto’s medical chart from last season is impressive in the worst possible way. Over a seven-month stretch, he was felled by a concussion, a fractured left wrist, a left knee bone bruise, an injured left quad, left hamstring soreness, bruised ribs, foot soreness and a sprained ankle.
Clearly, some guys have all the luck, while others are Raul Neto.
Of course, Neto’s return wouldn’t instantly solve Utah’s recent point guard woes. More than anything, Ricky Rubio is just in a major funk and needs to figure some things out offensively. That said, it might be nice to be able to go to the Brazilian in a pinch as opposed to doling out spot duty to Alec Burks.
Despite his injuries, Neto largely excelled as the third guard last season, logging 13.2 points, 5.4 assists and 3.5 boards per 36 minutes and knocking down over 40 percent of his triples.
We’ll continue to monitor the Neto situation and provide updates as necessary.