DENVER — After undergoing arthroscopic surgery Wednesday in New York to remove a bone spur from his left knee, Jazz shooting guard Kyle Korver plans to return to Utah and begin rehab as soon as he's fit to travel.

Dr. David Altcheck performed the procedure and afterward, according to the Jazz, said it went "extremely well."

"It's about what they expected," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said.

Korver is scheduled for a follow-up visit with Altcheck in New York on Nov. 9, the same day the Jazz open a four-stop Eastern road trip with a game against the Knicks.

O'Connor said no timetable for Korver's anticipated return will be made public until after the follow-up, but it's believed Korver anticipates he'll be out for about six weeks.

"On Nov. 9 I think we'll have a better feel," the Jazz GM said during Utah's morning shootaround prior to Wednesday night's-season opener at Denver.

Korver was bothered throughout the preseason by inflammation in the knee, and played in only one of eight exhibition games as a result.

With swingman C.J. Miles (thumb ligament surgery) and forward Matt Harpring (ankle, knee) also out Wednesday, the Jazz dressed just 11 healthy players - one fewer than they're allowed - against the Nuggets.

Guard Ronnie Price returned after missing the Jazz's final four preseason games with a strained left hamstring, and starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer played after missing last Friday's preseason-ending win at Sacramento due to back spasms.

STILL WAITING: The Jazz are expected to exercise their $1.3 million third-season option on the rookie contract of second-year big man Kosta Koufos.

An announcement should come either today or Friday.

TRIED AND TRUE: Some NBA teams are changing their habits - New York no longer is holding a morning shootaround prior to home games, and Boston reportedly has eliminated day-of-game shootarounds and pushed practices from the morning to noontime - but the Jazz don't plan on doing anything differently this season.

"We've got a young team," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "If I had a veteran team, yeah, I'd consider (doing away with shootarounds) a lot.

"Veteran teams - they have the know-how to step out there and do what you've got to do. We're trying to teach kids how to play together, and how to be together, and sometimes I think you have to be together in order to learn how to do that."

REJECTED: Heading into Wednesday's opener, Sloan was bemoaning his club's lack of a big-bodied shot-blocker.

"Any team that has shot blocking, you go look and see, field-goal percentage (for opponents) is about 42 to 43 percent," he said. "If you don't have shot blocking, you're running around 45, 46 percent in field-goal percentage. That's one of the things that hurts our team.

"When we had Mark Eaton and Greg Ostertag we were one of the top three or four (teams) all the time in defense, in field-goal percentage. Since we don't have shot-blocking, that's dropped off tremendously.

"That has a lot to do with winning games and protecting the paint," Sloan added. "If you don't have shot blockers, you have to protect it with your body."

3 comments on this story

HE SAID IT: NBA commissioner David Stern to ESPN.com, after being asked Tuesday what he's looking forward to this season: "What I'm anticipating - I've always been wrong in every one of my 26 seasons - is despite the fact that everyone's talking about these five teams (the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston, Cleveland, Orlando and San Antonio) each of which has gone the extra step, I'm wondering if from the pack someone emerges and says, 'Hey, what about us? Are we nothing?' "Denver or Chicago or Utah or Atlanta, go down the list. I'm looking forward to, really, a season for the ages. We've had so many teams make one more step, either by the growth of young players or the addition of a star, they really think they can compete. It's going to be the most competitive season I can imagine."

STILL WAITING II: Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko said Wednesday that his wife Masha and newly adopted daughter Sasha remain in Russia because they're still waiting on an American travel visa for the baby girl.

The adoption was approved by a Russian court and finalized nearly two weeks ago.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com