Utah Jazz: Kyrylo Fesenko out for season, wants to return to Utah
SALT LAKE CITY — Kyrylo Fesenko has joined Mehmet Okur on the Utah Jazz's out-for-the-season list.
It only remains to be seen if the Ukrainian center has seen his last time in a Jazz uniform.
Though out with a broken thumb, Fesenko hopes to be back with Utah next season.
"Definitely. I've been here for four years. I know the system. Everything works good for me," Fesenko said about his desire to return to the only NBA franchise he has played for. "Yeah. That's definitely an option. That's probably the most preferred option, but we'll see. It's the offseason. It's the lockout. You never know what's going to happen next year."
The 7-foot-1 center was diagnosed with a broken right thumb Thursday after an MRI revealed a bone fracture on the base of the first phalanx.
Fesenko said the team doctor told him he will be unable to play basketball for about four weeks, which obviously rules him out for the Jazz's final three games.
"It is frustrating," Fesenko said. "But it's professional basketball. Probably this is my catch phrase, but you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. You might start tomorrow. Or you might get pretty bad injury."
By the time the Jazz wrap up their 2010-11 campaign, Fesenko will have missed 15 games due to a variety of illnesses and injuries.
Fes praised the Jazz medical staff, particularly trainer Gary Briggs, for insisting he get the MRI taken. After initial swelling saw significant overnight improvement, the center thought he could play against the Lakers and was again feeling like he might be able to play against Portland.
He was warned, however, that a surgery-requiring injury could've occurred had he played with the broken bone. Now heavily wrapped and in a splint, his thumb was injured Monday at practice when his hand smacked against Paul Millsap's elbow.
X-rays taken at Staples Center prior to the Jazz's win against the Los Angeles Lakers didn't show any structural damage, but the team's medical staff decided to probe further just in case.
Speaking of his gratitude for the training staff, Fesenko added: "I'm just lucky to be on the Jazz."
STRIVING FOR CONSISTENCY: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to score a career high in points every game — as he did in Utah's previous two road contests against the Lakers and Kings. But he does want to see some consistency out of his rookie, who scored 22 points in L.A. and 18 in Sacramento.
"Last game he had some great success," Corbin said. "We'll see where it goes from here. One of the things with him is that if he has some success, how consistent can he be. I think he's worked extremely hard to try and be more consistent."
MATTHEWS FAN CLUB: Wesley Matthews was a fan-favorite among Jazz fans in his rookie season in Utah last year. Count Corbin among his admirers.
"I'm a fan of Wes," Corbin said. "He was a guy who wasn't drafted ... worked his butt off, man. His basketball IQ was high. The thing that's really encouraging about him is that he worked. I mean, he came in early every day, stayed after late. He'd come back in the afternoon and work on his shot.
"To see a guy like him have success is just great because I know how hard he worked and how bad he wanted to be a part of this league."
MILESTONE FOR MILLER: Former Ute and current Portland point guard Andre Miller recorded his 7,000th career assist against the Jazz. It came in the first quarter when he assisted on a fast-break dunk by Nicolas Batum. Miller is 14th all-time among NBA assist leaders.
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