Utah Jazz: No Big Al or Tinsley vs. Milwaukee, but Millsap will go; Mo's close
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
MILWAUKEE — There's some mixed news on the injury front for the Utah Jazz.
For the second game in a row, the Jazz will be without starting center Al Jefferson, who will miss tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks with a sprained left ankle.
The encouraging news?
Starting power forward Paul Millsap will play after missing the past two games with a sprained left ankle. With him back, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he'll go with a starting lineup of Earl Watson, Randy Foye, Marvin Williams, Millsap and Derrick Favors at center.
The even more encouraging news?
Former starting point guard Mo Williams is holding out hope that he'll be back on the court during this four-game road trip, and perhaps as early as Wednesday in Cleveland. He participated in his first full-contact practice Sunday.
Williams hasn't played since tearing ligaments in his right thumb, which required surgery in January. The point guard was told by his doctor at the time that he'd be out about nine weeks, and his return this week would put him right on that anticipated schedule.
"We'll see. We'll see (about Wednesday). That would be great to play in front of those fans," said Williams, who played for Milwaukee and Cleveland earlier in his NBA career. "It's hard to go out and get one full-contact practice in and say you're ready to play a professional basketball game at a high level. We're going to make the right decision."
The team is without Jamaal Tinsley for this game against the Bucks. He was excused from the squad this morning to attend to a family matter (a funeral, Corbin explained) and is expected to rejoin the Jazz for Wednesday's game in Cleveland.
More short shots from shootaround:
— Corbin on his injured big men:
"Al is a little ginger, so we'll hold him out more than likely. Paul we'll look at again (this afternoon). I think he'll go. (Millsap) did a little more yesterday, went through pretty much everything today."
— Williams on his thumb rehab and impending comeback:
"My first practice yesterday. We went through everything. Everything was good. I'll get another one (practice) in tomorrow and we'll go from there. Obviously I'm going in the right direction. I'm practicing now. That was the last step, so we're almost there. We're just going to sit down and just assess it every day."
— Millsap on his game-time decision status:
"It felt pretty good, still not 100 percent, but I will get out here tonight, move around a little bit more and see what happens. I'm not sure. It just depends on how I feel. Ankle sprains take a little time. Mine feels a little bit better. It feels good. It feels like I can get out there and play. But we won't know until I get out there."
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