Utah Jazz: Boozer out at least one more month

Published: Sunday, Jan. 11 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer is expected to miss at least another month — on top of the seven-plus weeks he's been out already — after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Friday in Los Angeles to clean out his damaged left knee.

According to a news release from the Jazz on Saturday night, the two-time NBA All-Star "will now undergo a four-week rehabilitation program, after which his return to activity will be re-evaluated."

Asked if the team expects Boozer to actually be ready to play in four weeks, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor indicated he 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 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 weeks? Yeah," O'Connor added. "When he can go full speed and not run with a limp ... that's when he can play."

Boozer — injured Nov. 19 at Milwaukee — has missed 25 straight games, including Saturday night's victory over Detroit.

Rehabbing for a full four weeks means he'll miss at least another 14.

According to O'Connor and the Jazz, loose particles were removed during the surgery — just as was anticipated would be necessary.

"Some of it was cartilage," O'Connor said, "and some of it is loose fragments of bone."

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

"It may be a week, it may be less than that," O'Connor said of Boozer's timetable for returning to Utah. "But we want to get him here as soon as we can and have him rehab and be with the team."

O'Connor, meanwhile, was quite miffed Saturday morning because neither he nor anyone with the team had heard back yet from Dr. Richard Ferkel — nearly 24 hours after the L.A. area-based orthopedic specialist performed the surgery.

"That's part of the problem," O'Connor said, "with (the surgery) being somewhere outside of the Great Salt Lake."

Ferkel eventually spoke later Saturday with Jazz trainer Gary Briggs.

MILES UPDATE: Starting shooting guard C.J. Miles did not play Saturday night due to the sprained left ankle he sustained in Wednesday night's win over New Orleans, making him the last Jazz player to miss a game this season.

Miles did say, though, that he hopes he can play when the Jazz close a four-game homestand Monday night vs. Indiana.

"The swelling is almost completely gone," Miles said. "Some of the soreness is gone, and I'm walking a lot better. I could barely walk (Wednesday night).

"I'm just glad," added Miles, who is out of the walking boot he had been wearing, "(that) I'm walking, nothing's broken, there nothing too serious to where I can't be back in a few days."

FUN FACT: The last regular season in which the Jazz did not have at least one player appear in every game, incidentally, was 1978-79 — when Rich Kelley's 80 were the most.

The team was still located in New Orleans at the time.

HE SAID IT: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, on why with Miles out he started combo guard Ronnie Price and not shooting guard Morris Almond — as he earlier had indicated would likely be the case — against the Pistons: "Ronnie Price has more experience playing. I hate to put Mo Almond out there in a situation he probably wouldn't be comfortable with, so I changed my mind."


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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