Utah Jazz: News of Josh Howard's knee injury 'surprising,' 'disturbing'

Published: Tuesday, March 20 2012 11:39 p.m. MDT

"That's why we signed DeMarre Carroll," the Jazz GM said. "Anytime you lose a starter, it's going to affect your team. Fortunately, we've got some depth and the young kids have gotten (46) games under their belt, so that's going to help a little bit, but we're going to miss him."

O'Connor hinted that the Jazz are hoping they haven't seen the last of Howard in a Utah uniform, even if he is out the rest of this season. The nine-year veteran will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

"We have to look at it from a business point of view," O'Connor said, "but from a human point of view, you sit down and talk to him a little bit about it and say, 'Hey, we appreciate what you've done. We know how long it's been to get back on the court. Stay with us and we're going to stay with you.'"

Jazz forward Paul Millsap credited the athletic 6-foot-8 Howard for giving the Jazz offensive firepower and being a defensive presence.

"It's sad, but things happen," Millsap said. "He'll bounce back from it."

Sooner than some might expect, Howard hopes.

"It's tough, but if I can get through an ACL surgery and a meniscus tear, I can beat anything," he said. "It's a part of the game. It's just something I can deal with and I know I'll be back."

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