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Utah Jazz: Boozer out 4 more weeks; Sloan to start Price tonight

Published: Saturday, Jan. 10 2009 6:10 p.m. MST

All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer is expected to be out at least four more weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Friday in Los Angeles to clean out his damaged left knee.

Loose particles were removed from the knee, as was anticipated would be necessary.

"Some of it was cartilage," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said, "and some of it is loose fragments of bone, etc."

According to a news release issued by the Jazz on Saturday night, Boozer "will now undergo a four-week rehabilitation program, after which his return to activity will be reevaluated."

Asked if the team expects Boozer to be ready to play in four weeks, O'Connor indicated he just wasn't sure.

"It just depends on his rehab," he said.

"Could it be four weeks? Yeah. Could it be six weeks? Yeah. Could be three-and-a-half or four-and-a-weeks? Yeah.

"When he can go full speed and not run with a limp =8A that's when he can play."

O'Connor said the knee is structurally sound, but Boozer will remain in L.A. at least through follow-up visits Monday and Thursday before returning to Utah.

Boozer, injured Nov. 19 at Milwaukee, was to miss his 25th straight game when the Jazz played host to Detroit later tonight.

Meanwhile, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan planned to start combo guard Ronnie Price and not shooting guard Morris Almond against the Pistons.

Sloan earlier had indicated he was leaning toward opening with Almond, who has been healthy/inactive for the Jazz's last three games.

But after today's morning shootaround Sloan said he instead would go with the sporadically used Price matched up against Pistons star guard Allen Iverson.

"Ronnie Price has more experience playing," Sloan said. "I hate to put Mo Almond out there in a situation he probably wouldn't be comfortable with, so I changed my mind."

Price - the Utah Valley product - started at the point when Deron Williams was injured, but since has been bumped to No. 3 point behind Williams and Brevin Knight.

"I've had that role before - to defend (Iverson) for some minutes in a game," Price said. "So, I'm a little bit familiar with what he wants to do on the court. But he's still Allen Iverson, so you can get familiar with it all you want - he can still take advantage of it."

A vacancy in the Jazz's usual starting lineup was created because small forward C.J. Miles is out with a sprained ankle sustained in last Wednesday's win over New Orleans.

Usual starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer can shift to small forward, allowing Price to open in the backcourt alongside Williams.

Miles did not take part in today's shootaround, but said afterward that he hopes to play when the Jazz close a four-game homestand Monday night vs. Indiana.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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