Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — It's been a week since Deron Williams injured his wrist and, truth be known, he thought he'd already be back in action.
Unfortunately, the strained tendon in his shooting hand is not following his wishful thinking.
It's also causing concern, which is why the All-Star point guard visited a hand specialist before missing his fourth consecutive game Wednesday night against Houston.
Though it won't cause his soreness to go away, Dr. Steve Huish's evaluation had to come as a relief to the Jazz. After examining Williams and his MRI, the specialist confirmed that D-Will has a strained tendon and no structural damage, as Jazz's team physician, Dr. Lyle Mason, diagnosed last week.
Officially, Williams is listed as day-to-day, so his official availability for Friday's game in Denver remains uncertain.
But as of Wednesday, he said the flicking movement in his shooting hand is painful and limited.
"I can't shoot the basketball past 12 feet," he said, "and it hurts a lot when I do that."
Williams, who joked that he can shoot layups, will continue to undergo similar treatment as he has been. He said he has tried "everything" so far, including alternating between icing his wrist, using heat, electrical stimulation and movement exercises. He keeps a wrist brace on except when receiving treatment.
"I'll try anything to get back on the court," said Williams, who thought the doctor might give him a pain shot to help him play. "I hate sitting out practice, games, whatever."
Williams then joked: "If you know (trainer) Gary Briggs, you know spending two hours, three hours a day he's grumpier than me, Coach (Jerry) Sloan and Phil (Johnson) combined."
Williams said this wrist injury has a "different kind of pain" than the bone bruise he suffered in the same hand last season. And he was told soft-tissue injuries — like his current tendon ailment — are slower to heal than joint and bone bruises.
"I just thought it would be healed right now," he said.
Williams played in the three quarters after his injury initially happened last Wednesday vs. San Antonio — he even finished with a season-best 39 points — but he hasn't seen action since then.
He flashed a slight smile as he explained the injury.
"I just tried to move George Hill with my hand with these fingers," Williams said. "It's kind of hard to move a human being with your fingers. I found that out the hard way. I just felt like a pop. They said it was the tendon stretching."
MELLOW MEMO: While talking with media Wednesday, Mehmet Okur seemed particularly down about his recurring back problem that has kept him out of the last three games.
Memo received a cortisone epidural shot on Saturday but said that hasn't yet kicked in and described the pain as being "always there right now."
Seeing as he has now missed nine games because of his back, Okur won't try to hurry back too soon.
"It looks like I'm going to have to step back a little bit now," he said. "I just want to be smart, because I don't want to rush and get back on the floor and miss another five, six games. I just want to get back close to 100 percent and be smart."
Okur has now missed 37 of the Jazz's 50 games due to his Achilles, ankle and back issues.
"I've been trying maybe too hard," he said. "Maybe I was too rushing to (do) extra workouts, twice a day sometimes."
Usually chipper and optimistic, Okur couldn't hide the disappointment in his demeanor. This has simply been a taxing time for him emotionally, dating back to last April when he tore his left Achilles tendon.
"It's tough," Okur admitted. "Every time I get up in the morning and you feel like, 'Am I going to be OK today?' Because I've been through a lot ... I've been in this road before. It's just not a fun feeling."
ACHY AK:Andrei Kirilenko sported his new piece of footwear again Wednesday, but he said the walking boot on his left leg was more of a preventive measure for his sprained ankle.
Though he's also day-to-day, Kirilenko said his ankle "feels sore" and will take a couple of days of healing before he returns.
Kirilenko's injury came during a time when he'd personally been on the top of his game. He averaged 18 points and 8.7 rebounds in his last three games..
"That is the worst part. When you're playing pretty well, you don't want to get out of the court, because everything is falling into your hand," Kirilenko said. "But it's life. It's basketball. Those things happen time to time."
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