Utah Jazz notebook: Boozer feels better but offers no predictions on when he will return
SALT LAKE CITY — It's not being called "mild." But it's not deemed "severe" either.
Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer's strained right calf injury instead has been dubbed "moderate" — keeping him out of Friday's game against Sacramento, but shedding little light on his availability beyond that.
"Mild is when guys play ... and severe is when you're talking about weeks," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said.
"Usually 48-to-72 hours tells you a little more," O'Connor added, "and I think we're encouraged by the fact it wasn't worse (Thursday) and (Friday) than it was after he hurt it."
Boozer — who said he felt "a pop," sustained "a slight tear" and is now walking with "a slight limp" — isn't sure how long he'll be out.
"I won't know until the pain's gone," he said.
"I'm getting better. Better today than I was yesterday," added Boozer, who on Friday night wasn't using the crutches he had Friday morning. "So, I'm taking it one day at a time. ... My swag ain't right back yet, but it's getting there."
Boozer, who will be a free agent in the offseason, strained the calf on a seemingly innocuous play in the third quarter of Wednesday's win at Portland.
He said he felt the muscle tighten about two minutes earlier, then "barely went on my tippy-toes" to make an inbounds pass "and it just popped. But I'll be all right. It's a slight tear, but it's OK."
Boozer was seen by team orthopedist Dr. Lyle Mason and underwent an MRI exam Thursday.
The Jazz said he will be reevaluated Monday, so for now the two-time NBA All-Star is listed as "day-to-day."
That's the same status Boozer was tagged with when he sustained a quadriceps injury last season that cost him 44 games and prompted arthroscopic knee surgery.
On Friday morning, though, he suggested this injury is not nearly that severe.
"Not as bad as it could have been," Boozer said.
Boozer, who just last Tuesday pretended to be knocking on wood when someone mentioned he hadn't missed a game this season, has now missed 135 of his 456 regular-season Jazz games.
That's roughly 30 percent of his 5 1/2 years in Utah.
WILLIAMS REACTION: The Jazz also played Friday without starting point guard Deron Williams, who is in West Virginia attending an uncle's funeral today.
Williams was traveling Thursday when his selection to the Feb. 14 NBA All-Star Game was announced, and on Friday he issued the following statement: "I am very honored and excited to be named to the All-Star Team. To be able to play with the best players in the world in my hometown is a dream come true. I hope all of the fans of the Jazz feel they are part of this selection. They encourage me and my teammates in every way possible. I am proud to represent them. My selection was a result and tribute to my great teammates and coaches."
FESENKO UPDATE: Jazz backup center Kyrylo Fesenko said Friday morning he planned to play Friday night, but he instead sat out his seventh straight game with a sprained left ankle.
With Boozer, Williams and Fesenko all out, but second-season big man Kyrylo Koufos recalled from the NBA Development League's Utah Flash, the Jazz dressed 10 healthy players Friday.
Koufos had three rebounds in five first-half minutes.
TV TALK: Ex-Jazz forward Matt Harpring is in town as an analyst for FSN Utah during the team's current four-game homestand.
With his contract traded to Oklahoma City last December, the injured Harpring is Thunder property — but the Jazz received special permission for him to work some TV games.
Harpring, who is pursuing a broadcasting career, also is working part-time for NBA TV in Atlanta, where he lives.
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