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Utah Jazz notebook: Injury, flu bugs plaguing Jazz

Published: Sunday, April 8 2012 10:37 p.m. MDT

SAN ANTONIO — For quite a while, the Utah Jazz were one of the healthiest teams in the NBA.

You wouldn't guess that now.

Already down two starters to knee issues — Raja Bell and Josh Howard — the Jazz were bitten by a flu bug and an injury bug in recent days.

C.J. Miles and Earl Watson were the latest Jazz players to go down. Each suffered injuries in the first half of Sunday's 114-104 loss to the Spurs, didn't play in the second half and have an appointment to get MRI tests today.

"We're praying that everybody's OK, and it's not as bad as it looks right now," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said.

Watson had to use crutches to get to the team bus after the game, having tweaked his right knee.

"I can't even walk," Watson said.

Though the 11-year veteran said he'll keep his spirits up no matter what happens, Watson admitted this was a "tough situation" to deal with after coming back from a sprained left ankle a couple of weeks ago.

The backup point guard said he landed weird after shooting a layup, and he's not sure if his opposite leg was compensating for his ankle.

"I came down wrong," he said. "I felt my knee lock up. It wasn't anything painful. It was just one of those odd injuries."

Watson, who has never had a surgery, isn't sure what to expect.

"Whatever happens, happens," he said. "It's not something … career-ending. It's basketball. You just deal with it, you get better and you move on."

Miles had a walking boot on his left foot, but he said the pulled muscle hurt even moving around in that.

Miles was pushed by Spurs guard Danny Green and he felt his calf cramp up when he pushed off the leg to try to run. When he put pressure on it again, he knew something was wrong.

"I couldn't do anything," he said. "I tried to run it off, but I couldn't make it to half court. That's when I pointed to the sideline and I couldn't even walk."

Miles called it a "terrible time" for the injury because of the playoff push and the fact he was feeling well, not counting Friday when he had nausea and threw up multiple times. Paul Millsap (stomach virus) and Al Jefferson (strained abdomen) also had rough weekends.

"If there's any way I can play, I'm going to play. That's me," said Miles, who hasn't missed a game to an injury this season. "I don't sit down unless I have to. Even if it's a bad limp, if I can move I'm going to play."

STEPPING UP: Corbin went with a twist to begin the second half, starting DeMarre Carroll because Miles had to stay in the locker room to receive treatment on his calf.

The third-year small forward responded with a bang.

Despite not playing in the first half, Carroll ended up scoring a career-best 16 points, including a 3-for-4 effort from 3-point land as Utah attempted to get back into the game.

Corbin complimented Carroll for being an "energy guy." The February waiver pick-up also had four rebounds and two assists.

"The 3-point shooting is a plus for us," Corbin said. "But when he plays with the energy he played with (Sunday), he's going to be real good for us."

TIME MANAGEMENT: Al Jefferson played almost 38 minutes, Gordon Hayward logged just under 35 and Devin Harris saw 33 minutes of action in Sunday's game..

But Corbin isn't too concerned with anybody running out of gas in tonight's San Antonio Sequel.

"We'll figure it out," he said.

Derrick Favors saw most of the power forward time, getting 29 minutes and 36 seconds Sunday. So Millsap, who's feeling better after his illness, should be plenty fresh after being on the court for only 21 minutes.

Corbin believes the Jazz will bounce back from the loss and respond well physically and mentally.

"The guys have been tremendous about responding all year," he said, "and we expect that to continue."

Tony Parker (31:29) and Tim Duncan (30:55) were the only Spurs to play 30 minutes in Round 1.

Email: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

Blog: Jazzland.blogs.deseretnews.com

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