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Utah Jazz basketball: Kirilenko fed up with calf strains

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 2:37 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Andrei Kirilenko is in no rush to return to the court for the Utah Jazz.

The small forward is also admittedly frustrated that his left calf keeps getting strained with similar injuries that have kept him on the sideline for eight of the past 10 games.

In order to "speed up the process of recovery," Kirilenko spent time Monday in a hyperbaric chamber to treat his lower leg muscle that was injured Friday in Indiana and kept him out of games Saturday and Monday.

The team announced Sunday that an MRI revealed this strain is in a different spot than his previous calf injury, which is completely healed. Still, the newly injured calf, Kirilenko said, was still "a little sore" Monday night — not to mention aggravating.

"It's kind of a little frustrating," he said, "that you're coming back and re-injure it, coming back, reinjure it. ...

"It's pretty much the same injury," he added, "so you have to fix the same injury."

Or at least one that's "right next to the spot" as the previous injury, he said.

Kirilenko sported a walking boot on his left leg Monday and said he would take his time before playing again. He wants to be darn sure the left calf — any part of it — doesn't get sprained again.

The Jazz said he will be re-evaluated before the Jazz play Golden State on Wednesday, but Kirilenko seemed to indicate that it's possible he'll miss that one and possibly Friday's road game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It's tough to predict," he said. "Like before, it took about six days to get it to work, to get it to practice time. I don't know how much time I need to get it to practice time."

When he gets a green light to work out with the team, though, Kirilenko said he might take an additional three or four days "to practice with it" before testing it in a game. Wednesday will be the sixth day following his latest injury.

"When it's ready," he said, "(I want to) kind of give it more time to get strong."

FRIENDLY FOE: An old opponent has proudly jumped aboard the Butler bandwagon. Though he played for another Indiana college, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, a University of Evansville product, has been "pulling for Butler" during the NCAA Tournament.

Sloan is enjoying the ride with the Bulldogs, who earned a Final Four berth in his team's arena with wins over higher seeds Syracuse and Kansas State.

"I was glad to see them do well," he said.

Partly because of familiarity with his old rival, and also because he has affection for the Indianapolis-based school's former coach — the namesake for the famous Hinkle Fieldhouse where Butler plays and where the championship game in the movie "Hoosiers" was filmed.

"I was always a big fan of Tony Hinkle," said Sloan, adding that Butler's late athletic mentor was "an excellent coach" in football, basketball and baseball.

Hinkle and Sloan's former coach, Arad McCutchan, were good friends, so he always enjoyed playing Butler during his All-American career with the Purple Aces from 1963-65.

"We always had good games against those people," he added.

BLUE DEVIL OF A TIME: Don't mind Carlos Boozer, but he will unabashedly root for March Madness' last-remaining No. 1 seed. His alma mater, Duke, is in the hunt for its first NCAA hoops title since Boozer helped the Blue Devils win it all in 2001.

"I'm proud of my guys," Boozer said. "They played a whale of a game against Purdue, another great game against Baylor, and now we see ourselves in the Final Four again. We've got a good chance."

HOOSIERS HOOPLA: Being from a small farm town, Sloan can relate to all of the "Hoosiers" comparisons Butler is receiving. His high school in tiny McCleansboro, Ill., never made a state tournament, but his son went to the same school and enjoyed an undefeated championship season.

Fans followed the team back to the school after playoff wins and stayed there until 3 or 4 in the morning to get tickets to the next game.

"It was kind of a fun thing," he said.

At least as long as you won.

"These small towns, you go to the barbershop (and) you have better have played well," he joked.

SNYDER IN COURT: An eight-person jury has been seated for the trial of ex-Jazz player Kirk Snyder in Warren County Common Pleas Court in Lebanon, Ohio, the Dayton Daily News reported Monday. Snyder, a Jazz 2004 first-round pick, was charged with aggravated burglary, felonious assault and assault after allegedly breaking into his neighbor's residence and attacking a man at his Beacon Hill Townhouses in April 2009.

"I'll make it easy for you — he did it," Snyder's attorney, Hal Arenstein, was quoted as saying in court by the paper. "But we're giving you an explanation."

Snyder's defense, the report claimed, will use a doctor's testimony in hopes of proving Snyder was temporarily insane and wasn't receiving proper medical attention or taking his medication.

The trial is expected to last three days.

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

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