LOS ANGELES — Hot Rod Hundley's voice hasn't been silenced after all.

Replaced by David Locke as the Jazz's radio play-by-play man after last season, Hundley will be working six games this season — for the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to an announcement Tuesday on the team's Web site, Hundley will be behind a microphone beginning Friday and running through Dec. 20 — including the Lakers' visit Saturday night with the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

Hundley, 75, will fill in for usual Lakers television color commentator Stu Lantz, who will be out while his wife recovers from a surgical procedure.

Hundley previously served as a Lakers color commentator alongside the late Chick Hearn.

Selected first overall by the Cincinnati Royals in the 1957 NBA Draft, Hundley originally joined the Lakers in a post-draft trade — while the team was still playing in Minneapolis.

He played 431 games for the Lakers, including their first season in L.A., and was a two-time NBA All-Star during his six-year career.

Hundley joined Hearn in the Lakers broadcast booth as a radio TV color commentator for the 1967-68 and 1968-69 seasons, then spent five seasons calling Phoenix Suns games before joining the Jazz for their inaugural 1974-75 season.

He spent 31 seasons as the New Orleans and Utah Jazz's radio TV play-by-play simulcast voice and another four as the team's radio voice after Craig Bolerjack took over television play-by-play duties.

KIRILENKO OUT: The injury-hampered Jazz had just eight players for practice Tuesday in advance of tonight's game against the Lakers.

Absentees included backup small forward Andrei Kirilenko, who has missed three of Utah's last four games — including Monday's win over San Antonio — due to muscle tightness in his strained lower back.

Kirilenko didn't travel with the team to Los Angeles and won't play tonight.

He underwent an MRI exam Tuesday, and according to Jazz spokesman Derek Garduno, trainer Gary Briggs said results were "unchanged" from the last time an MRI on Kirilenko's back came up negative.

With Kirilenko out tonight, rookie starter Wesley Matthews — along with veteran Ronnie Brewer — is expected to see extended time guarding Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

"He's not afraid to try to guard anybody," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of Matthews. "You know, it's pretty refreshing to us to have a guy that is a rookie and is not afraid to compete like he has. ... He's been solid as a rock. He's not afraid.

"That's how you learn to play," Sloan added when asked about putting a rookie on someone as tricky as Bryant. "You play Kobe or you play whoever else is out there, and you do the best you can, put it all out there and go home and try to learn something from it so you can be better the next time. I think he's tried to do that."

Matthews — whose father, Wes, counts the Lakers among his former NBA teams — in recent games has done a commendable job on Portland's Brandon Roy, Indiana's Danny Granger and San Antonio's Manu Ginobili.

"He's not gonna stop those guys, and you certainly aren't going to stop Kobe Bryant," Sloan said. "I don't think anybody stops him.

"But, for heaven's sake, you've got to put the effort out there to make a guy have to work."

MEDICAL WARD: Backup center Kyrylo Fesenko also didn't travel and won't play tonight. He was sent home prior to Tuesday's practice with a stomach virus. Fesenko hasn't played in Utah's last three games (coach's decision) and missed a late November game due to a stomach virus, as well.

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Starting point guard Deron Williams was excused from Tuesday's practice for personal reasons, but he traveled and is expected to play tonight.

Swingman Kyle Korver (arthroscopic knee surgery) and combo guard Ronnie Price (toe foot) didn't practice Tuesday and won't play against the Lakers, but both also traveled.

"If I know what I'm going to do, I can do it without pain, for the most part," said Korver, who's been out all season. "But a quick reaction and choppy steps — it's tough."

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com