After breaking a bone in his left hand and missing 11 games, guard Jim Farmer will likely dress for the Jazz's game with Denver tonight in

the Salt Palace. By winning, the Jazz can tie the franchise season high for victories (47) and reduce their Midwest Division magic number over Denver to two.Farmer, who remained on the active roster since being injured March 17 against Miami, returned to practice Tuesday and scrimmaged with a protective bandage that slightly affects his dribbling and shooting. Originally expected to miss five or six weeks, Farmer had his cast removed last week and is coming back within four weeks.

Farmer was examined Monday by Dr. Lyle Mason, the team orthopedist, who recommended that he wait until Friday. "He told me I was taking a chance to come back, but I'm ready to play," Farmer said. "I got tired of sitting out . . . it feels good, so I figure that's a sign to go ahead and play. I just hope nothing freaky will happen."

Coach Jerry Sloan is letting Farmer and the Jazz medical staff decide whether he'll dress tonight, but noted, "It the opportunity presented itself and we felt it could do something, we'd put him in the game."

Farmer's return adds another angle to the Jazz's off-guard picture; Bobby Hansen is now starting ahead of Darrell Griffith. Sloan said Monday that Farmer was playing the best of the three before being injured.

"I was starting to get more confident and comfortable with each game," said Farmer, who joined the Jazz in January when Hansen was hurt and has played in 31 games, averaging 4.5 points.

- Kurt Kragthorpe