The Utah Jazz will be without two regular starters when they host the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
It will be the first miss of the season for shooting guard Ronnie Brewer and the 13th consecutive game on the bench for Carlos Boozer.
Brewer did not practice with team this morning and won't be with the team against the Magic because of a death in his family. With the Jazz's blessing, Utah's starting shooting guard flew to Texarkana, Texas, this morning so he could attend the funeral of his maternal aunt.
Brewer is expected to rejoin the team in Boston, where the Jazz will begin a five-game road trip on Monday.
Though he hinted that he's still holding out hope to play soon, Boozer has been ruled "out" for Saturday's game as well, according to a team spokesman.
Boozer, who's missed 12 games with a strained left quad tendon and a bruised kneecap, exercised on a stationary bicycle prior to the team's practice this morning. He indicated that he's participated in warm-ups with the team the past three or four days.
It's the injured knee that is delaying the All-Star's return.
"When the knee's ready, I'll go," Boozer said. "I'm warming it up right now and we'll see how it feels today."39 comments on this story
Boozer says he wants to return "so bad," but added that he needs to be able to do certain movements "without feeling any pain" before his return.
"I wish it would have never happened," he said of the injury that occurred on Nov. 19 against Milwaukee. "But it's part of basketball."Coach Jerry Sloan said this morning he still isn't sure who he'll insert into the starting lineup to replace Brewer. He is toying with the idea of going with Andrei Kirilenko, which would perhaps push C.J. Miles into the 2-spot. But Sloan said he will probably make that decision at shootaround Saturday morning.