DENVER — As the Jazz's shootaround Wednesday morning wound down, Andrei Kirilenko's was just getting going.
While his teammates prepared for Wednesday night's Game 5 of their first-round NBA playoff series with the Denver Nuggets, an injured Kirilenko — who has missed 20 of Utah's last 22 regular-season and postseason games due to a strained left calf — rehabbed on the side.
When they were done, Kirilenko got in some light shooting of his own on the Pepsi Center floor, working with Jazz special assistant Jeff Hornacek.
But Utah's would-be starting small forward is still not running full speed, still not involved in contact.
"I haven't even run back-and-forth, like, 5-on-0," Kirilenko said. "Just all short stuff."
Kirilenko said say he's feeling "good," but he still has no real clue when he'll return.
Sunday, perhaps? "Maybe," he said. "Right now, it's hard to say.
"I'm telling you — right now, everything's possible. It's just matter of how I can survive in the full court."
Whenever it happens, teammates — also missing starting center Mehmet Okur, who continues to recovery from last week's surgery to repair the Achilles tendon he tore in Game 1 of the series — anxiously are awaiting his return.
"He was in great spirits, and hopefully he is pretty close," forward Carlos Boozer said of Kirilenko, who didn't travel with the team when it came to Denver for Games 1 and 2 so he could go to Los Angeles to receive platelet-rich plasma therapy on the calf.
"If we're able to get A.K. back, it would give us a huge lift because of what he brings to our team," Boozer added. "Hopefully he's healthy enough to do that."
Without Okur and Kirilenko in the lineup — their third- and fourth-leading scorers in the regular season, respectively — others have assumed their missing 25.4 points per game.
Point guard Deron Williams is at the top of that list, which — with regular-season averages compared to the first four games of the series — also includes C.J. Miles (up. 6.4), Paul Millsap (up 5.2), Kyrylo Fesenko (up 2.4), Kyle Korver (up 2.1) and Wesley Matthews (up 1.9). "With A.K. and Memo out," said Williams, whose average of 26.5 in Games 1-4 was 7.8 more than in the regular season, "I'm just trying to pick up scoring slack and still give people the ball."
OKUR'S RECOVERY: According to his personal website, Okur was fitted this week with a medical boot that "allows him to point, flex, and stretch his toes without effecting the (repaired) area."
Okur will wear the boot for about a week, then begin resistance swimming and stationary-bike work.
He's expected to be out at least 4-to-6 months, but if it's much longer the center from Turkey could miss the start of next season.
POPULARITY CONTEST: The NBA on Wednesday released its list of most-popular individual player and team jerseys, based on sales at the NBA Store in New York City and on NBAStore.com since the start of the 2009-10 season.
No one with the Jazz is ranked among the top-15, a list in which Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers remained No. 1, Cleveland's LeBron James stayed No. 2, Boston's Kevin Garnett was No. 3, Oklahoma City's Kevin Garnett debuted in the top-10 for the first time at No. 9 and Denver's Carmelo Anthony jumped from No. 15 to No. 10.
The Jazz weren't on the top-10 teams list, either.
The Lakers placed first for the seventh time in the past eight seasons, Boston stayed at No. 2 and Cleveland was third.
Lack of love for the small-market Jazz, however, comes as no great shock.
"We obviously have a couple of guys who would be in the top-10 or 15 players, but it's just all about the market that you're in," Korver said. "I don't think anyone on our team cares."
Contributing: Jody Genessy
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