SALT LAKE CITY — Trey Burke isn’t ready to begin practicing with the Utah Jazz quite yet, but the rookie point guard has been given the green light to do more basketball activity.
Burke, who fractured his right index finger on Oct. 12, had his much-anticipated medical re-evaluation Monday afternoon, and Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin seemed pleased with the results.
The Jazz didn’t announce whether or not the pins inserted into Burke’s finger on his shooting hand have been removed. The 21-year-old will be re-evaluated by his surgeon, Dr. Douglas Hutchinson, on Nov. 25.
“I guess it’s as good as it can be. He’s progressed to doing a little bit more activity,” Corbin said during his pregame interview Monday night.
Burke has been granted medical clearance to begin doing light dribbling and some shooting and passing to test how the finger responds to pushing the basketball away from his hand.
That, Corbin said, is “good news for us, so we can go up to the next step with him.”
Burke will participate in one-on-one workouts, Corbin explained. The training staff will closely monitor Burke’s pain level during and after workouts.
“The key will be the next day to see how much swelling and pain he has in it,” Corbin said. “While he’s doing it, if there’s pain, we’ll have to pull back.”
Burke has been positive throughout his injury absence. He progressed enough in recent weeks that he was allowed to remove his specialized splint other than when doing conditioning drills and sleeping.
Last week, Burke was cleared to begin running.
As can be expected, Burke’s teammates look forward to his return.
“He’s a competitive player. He wants to get back on the floor. He wants to help us a lot,” Jazz power forward Derrick Favors said. “I just hope he takes his time and heals properly before he comes back. Hopefully, he don’t reinjure it again.”
Veterans John Lucas III and Jamaal Tinsley, signed after Burke’s injury, have traded turns starting at point guard in the 2013 NCAA player of the year’s absence. Lucas started Monday night after coming off the bench the previous five games.
HONORING VETERANS: The Jazz celebrated Veterans Day with a Military Appreciation Night during Monday's home game against Denver. Active, retired and reserve personnel were given free tickets.
"It’s huge," Jazz forward Marvin Williams said of playing on the country's special day. "My father was in the Navy (while I was) growing up. He played basketball in the Navy, so I kind of have a special thing for anybody that serves in the military. I have friends in the military right now, so they hold a special place in my heart."
Williams, Richard Jefferson and John Lucas III recently hosted 40-plus members of families of deployed Utah National Guard members for a bowling and pizza party.
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