Utah Jazz scoring and rebounding leader Carlos Boozer will not play again this season, Jazz trainer Gary Briggs said.
Boozer, out since straining his right foot Feb. 14 in Phoenix, will sit for Utah's final 12 games. That's on top of the 19 he already has missed since the middle of last month.
"He's getting better," Briggs said, "but his doctor wants him in the boot three more weeks."
That was the word Tuesday after Boozer went to Los Angeles on Monday for a follow-up visit with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Ferkel.
Boozer has been in a walking air cast since his first visit with Ferkel two weeks earlier.
Another follow-up exam is scheduled for April 19. The Jazz finish the season April 20 at Golden State.
"He doesn't feel pain in the boot," Briggs said, "but he does when he gets out of it.
"If it is to the point he can start doing some rehab out of the boot, we'll start it," Briggs added. "If for some reason, as the rehab progresses, it starts bothering him again, then surgery would be an option."
For now, however, no surgery is planned.
Briggs said Ferkel thinks that when Boozer stepped on someone else's foot in Phoenix, he "disrupted . . . fibrous connection between . . . two pieces of bone" in the foot something medically related to the 23-year old's days at Duke University.
"(Ferkel) feels (Boozer) played with it this long," Briggs said, "(and) that if we let it calm down, he should be able to play with it again, without surgery."
Briggs said the Jazz will have Boozer rehab in Utah after the season ends and that they may even suggest he voluntarily work out and/or play with the Jazz's Rocky Mountain Revue summer-league team in July.
Boozer who signed a six-year, $68 million contract with the Jazz last summer was hurt two games after Jazz owner Larry H. Miller publicly questioned his toughness. Miller said then that Boozer is talented but some nights acts like he doesn't care enough. The two met privately two days afterward, and both later said they had made amends.
Meanwhile, Jazz guard Raja Bell did not practice Tuesday because of an apparent contusion to his right shin evidently caused by a kick.
Bell, however, may play tonight against Denver."(With) Raja," Briggs said, "it's pretty much got to be a life-threatening type of thing to keep him out."
STOCKTON STATUE: Retired Jazz point guard John Stockton and his family will be on hand when a statue of the NBA's all-time assists and steals leader is unveiled today.
A brief open-to-the-public ceremony is planned for 4:30 p.m. on the Delta Center's southeast plaza.Miller commissioned the 800-pound sculpture, with another of retired Jazz power forward Karl Malone to follow next year.
PRAISING BEN: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan had kind words Tuesday for backup center Ben Handlogten, who started earlier this month with two 10-day contracts and now has been signed for the rest of the season.
"He's helped us compete," Sloan said.
Handlogten played 17 games for the Jazz as a 30-year-old NBA rookie before blowing out a knee last season.
"He's still having a little bit of a problem with his leg," Sloan said. "You know, he's not quite as lively as he was but he's pretty active going after the ball and trying to rebound the basketball."He doesn't wait for the ball to come to him. He goes out, and he tries to get the ball."
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