Utah Jazz notebook: Injured Mehmet Okur has surgery to repair Achilles; Andrei Kirilenko gets plasma therapy
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Three days after suffering a season-ending injury, Jazz center Mehmet Okur underwent surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon on Tuesday afternoon.
And he wasn't the only injured Jazz starter to undergo a medical procedure this week.
On Monday, Andrei Kirilenko was treated with platelet-rich plasma therapy in Los Angeles to help heal his strained left calf, which has kept him out of the playoffs and forced him to miss most of the past month.
Kirilenko will begin some rehabilitation exercises later this week and could possibly be available for the second round if the Jazz advance past Denver, according to a team spokesman.
Okur, whose tendon was torn in the first quarter of Game 1 on Saturday night in Denver, was scheduled to have the procedure performed in Salt Lake City by Dr. Charles Saltzman, who is the chairman of the University of Utah's Department of Orthopaedics.
According to the team, Okur will begin "active rehabilitation" in two weeks. An update on his rehab procedure and a time frame for his recovery will be given at that point. On Sunday, the team said it might take anywhere between three and six months, and it's possible Okur might not be ready to go by the start of the 2010-11 season.
The Jazz organization left the specifics of the surgery up to Okur and his personal physician from Turkey, Dr. Mustafa Karahan.
According to Okur's personal website, Karahan recommended a consultation with a surgeon in Iowa — Dr. Annunziato Amendola, who's considered to be an expert in the field. The website reported that several conversations took place, leading to a decision that Okur would get "excellent results" at the University of Utah under the care of Saltzman, who is also the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society president.
As for Kirilenko, he traveled to Southern California for his therapy procedure Monday, which was performed at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Los Angeles Dodgers' team physician.
Platelet-rich plasma is a procedure in which a patient's own blood is drawn followed by an injection of platelets into the injured area. According to MTF Sports Medicine, the therapy "supercharges the body's capacity for healing and tissue repair … (and) may be associated with reduced pain and a quicker return to activity."
Kirilenko will start rehabbing Thursday on stationary bike, elliptical and flexion exercises along with resistance-pool swimming over the weekend.
Denver's Kenyon Martin (knee) and Portland's Brandon Roy (hamstring) are among the growing number of professional athletes who have turned to platelet-rich plasma therapy in hopes of a quicker recovery from injuries.
BACK AT YA: On Saturday, Kyle Korver watched the player he was defending, J.R. Smith, drill three consecutive 3-pointers in a key fourth-quarter stretch of Denver's 126-113 win.
Two nights later, it was the Jazz backup shooting guard who delivered the big shots in Utah's series-clinching 114-111 victory at the Pepsi Center.
Talk about sweet revenge — not that he looked at it that way.
"I have certain shots that I shoot a lot. I just try to be ready for them," Korver said. "I was kind of open a lot in the fourth quarter … and I kept telling myself, 'Be ready.' "
Was he ever, even before the final quarter.
Korver hit three jumpers at the end of the third, then nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:28 left followed by a pair of clutch free throws with 6.0 seconds remaining. He also took a timely charge after being called for his own offensive foul, and did some nifty dribbling all in the final wild minute.
Korver, though, was more about the "we" than the "me" after the game.
"That was a total team effort … a huge team victory," he said. "Everyone that was out there played well, made momentum changes, lead changes, big plays."
FOUL PLAY?: The Denver Nuggets were called for 37 fouls Monday, two shy of the Jazz opponent playoff high. Utah shot three more free throws than Denver but was called for seven fewer fouls.
Carmelo Anthony picked up his sixth and fouled out with 25.4 seconds to go, though only after Jazz small forward C.J. Miles appeared to step out-of-bounds as referee Bill Spooner trailed immediately behind the two.
According to an Associated Press report from Game 2, "officials blew the call."
Hard as they tried, however, media members weren't about to get Nuggets acting head coach Adrian Dantley to bite.
"I am not going to make any comment on that," Dantley said. "It is part of the game."
As much as the Nuggets may want to play rough-and-tumble, Monday proved there are limitations.
"We want a physical series and a physical game," Denver point guard Chauncey Billups said, "but we are not able to do that."
"That is part of the game, and we have to adjust to how the referees are calling it," Dantley added. "Some tough calls, but that is the referees' decision."
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