Jazz center Mehmet Okur arrived back in Salt Lake City on Sunday from Istanbul, nearly one week after he left the team to be with his ailing father.
Abdullah Okur has had both lung-cancer and brain-tumor surgery in the last five years, and this month he's been hospitalized due to ailments including epileptic seizure and pneumonia.
According to a statement posted Sunday on Okur's personal Web site, memo13.com, his father regained consciousness on Thursday, was stable enough Saturday to undergo a tracheostomy and is scheduled to undergo a gastrostomy today.
"Memo was assured by the doctors that his father's situation had stabilized enough for the two surgeries," the statement said.
The Jazz on Sunday offered no details on Okur's availability status. But since he did make it back to Utah on Sunday night, it seems likely Okur will play when the Jazz host Phoenix tonight.
Okur left the Jazz last Monday, when they were in Philadelphia, and flew from New York to Istanbul. He missed the last four games of a five-game road trip, a stretch in which Utah went 1-3.
STILL DESPISED: He was booed practically every time he touched the ball. In the moment of quiet before the start of the national anthem, one voice yelled loud enough for most to hear, "I hate Boozer." A column in the local newspaper on Sunday rehashed it all, again.
The fine folks in Cleveland, it seems, just can't left go of Carlos Boozer's controversial departure from the fair city. It happened in 2004, yet when the Jazz fell to Cavaliers on Saturday night it was as if the move to Utah were made just yesterday.
Even Cavs star LeBron James, Boozer's former teammate in Cleveland and his teammate again on gold medal-winning Team USA's entry in this summer's Olympic Games, believes it's all old news.
But he knows it's not to fans in Cleveland, who were as grumpy about Boozer being back as they were about the Cavs' failure to win them a free chalupa during a game last week.
"Probably," James predicted for Cleveland reporters when asked before Saturday's game if he thought they'd boo. "It's over and done with but they get on us if we don't score 100 points."
As a sidenote, James added this with regard to ChalupaGate: "It's ridiculous. There are season-ticket holders who can't buy a $1 taco."
HIGH ON MO: Former Jazz guard Mo Williams, now starting at the point for Cleveland after an offseason trade from Milwaukee, finished with 20 points Saturday, including five during a pullaway 9-0 Cavaliers run in the fourth quarter.
"He gives them another player that has the ability to shoot the ball, and he can defend," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of Williams, a second-round draft choice who spent just his rookie season in Utah.
"He was one of those guys that just stepped out on the floor and played when you asked him to (while with the Jazz), and if he didn't play he was always working hard to become a better player," Sloan added. "I've always liked him."HIGH ON JERRY: Sloan has a fan of his own in Cavs coach Mike Brown, who said this to the local Cleveland Plain Dealer: "I've got the utmost respect for this guy his longevity, the way he carries himself, the way his teams play hard. ... He's big-time."
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