Utah Jazz notebook: Raja Bell returns, but still not playing

Published: Thursday, April 5 2012 12:18 a.m. MDT

Phoenix's Steve Nash drained two baskets in the last 14 seconds, including this one over Utah's Al Jefferson, as the Suns beat the Jazz, 107-105.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Raja Bell rejoined the Jazz after a week away, but it will be a while before he gets to play with his teammates on the court again.

If it even happens this season.

Bell will be out for at least two more weeks per doctor's orders after receiving a Hyalgan injection in his ailing left knee Monday. He hasn't played in three weeks.

"It feels really junky right now," Bell said, "but I'm assuming it went well. The doc thought it did pretty good."

Bell was told the combination of the medicated lubricant — which might require a series of injections — and rest should help him avoid getting microfracture surgery to repair a lesion in his knee. His MRI also revealed a bone bruise.

Bell hopes to return to play this season, but he can't do any physical activity — running, jumping, shooting — that puts any "banging pressure" on his knee for two weeks. He's restricted to doing non-impact exercises such as riding a stationary bike or the elliptical machine.

"That's the hurdle I'll have to tackle first, getting back in shape and being able to go out there and produce is the next hurdle," Bell said. "So if I can do that, I'd love to play and help in any way I can."

Wednesday was the first time Bell has been around the team since staying behind in Atlanta when the Jazz traveled north to New Jersey over a week ago.

"It's good to be back," he said.

Bell went to Miami to get an additional medical opinion on top of ones he received from a Charlotte-based doctor and Jazz team orthopedist Dr. Lyle Mason.

"If he could play, he could help us a lot. But you've got to make sure you do the right thing by the guy," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. " We'll support whatever (is) the best thing for him to do."

Email: jody@desnews.com

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