PHILADELPHIA Mehmet Okur has been excused by the Jazz to attend to a family illness in his native Turkey.
After practice today, the Jazz weren't certain when Okur would return or if he would be back anytime before the conclusion of a five-game trip that ends Saturday night at Cleveland.
Further complicating matters, the Jazz today also said that reserve center Kyrylo Fesenko will leave the team to go to Toronto to address a visa situation. In a best-case scenario, Fesenko might make it back in time for Friday's game at Charlotte meaning he'll miss not only Tuesday's game against the 76ers, but also Wednesday's against Washington.
Additionally, would-be backup center Jarron Collins was scheduled to take part today only in noncontact drills during practice and is not likely to be available Tuesday against the Sixers.
Collins has been out all season due to a bruised right elbow, bursitis and triceps tendinitis, stemming from an offseason golf-cart accident.23 comments on this story
That means either rookie Kosta Koufos could start at center in Philadelphia or the Jazz could open with a front line of Carlos Boozer with backup power forward Paul Millsap or Andrei Kirilenko up front.
A release from the organization did not give any further details other than to say that Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor had approved Okur's departure for the family emergency.
Through six games including Sunday's 107-99 loss at New York Okur is averaging 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and a team-high 36.8 minutes per game.Koufos, the 19-year-old first-round pick out of Ohio State, has also only seen NBA action twice and has yet to score as a pro.