BOISE For the first time in a long time, Matt Harpring is healthy enough to do whatever he wants in training camp.
For purely precautionary reasons, however, the Jazz's veteran forward will not fully participate in both sessions of training camp during two-a-days this week.
"I can, but we're still going to be smart about this," said Harpring, whose right knee was repaired via microfracture surgery in 2004 and again in 2005. "The goal here is the long haul. We all know that, and the Jazz have been great with me (about) it. The knee feels good right now, but we don't want to do something ... stupid with it."
Harpring did not practice Tuesday night, as planned, and Jazz trainer Gary Briggs said the 30-year-old won't go all-out this morning either. In fact, Harpring's two-a-day days probably are done forever.
Yet after signing a lucrative multiyear deal in the offseason, one in which he'll earn full pay only if he takes part in an undisclosed number of games over a three-year period, the Georgia Tech product feels as good as he has health-wise in what seems like forever.
"It's nice to have a summer that I could work out and just rest the body," said Harpring, who has missed a total of 173 games with assorted injuries throughout his eight-season career.
Late in August, Harpring began playing pickup games with other NBA players near his Atlanta-area home.
"This is the first chance he's had to play basketball in the summer in two or three years," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "He looks healthier, he looks happier, and those things should make for a good year for him."
That's a leap from last season, when Harpring frequently skipped games played on back-to-back nights.
"We had to baby him along all the way through whenever he was playing," Sloan said. "I think the biggest thing with Matt is he never really did get into a rhythm, and then he had his contract to be concerned about."This season, Briggs said, it's anticipated medical matters will result in no limits whatsoever being placed on Harpring's regular-season minutes.
POINTING TO BREWER: He was drafted out of the University of Arkansas as a swingman. But it appears Jazz 2006 first-rounder Ronnie Brewer will get a look at the point as camp unfolds, with a possibility for minutes at that position along with shooting guard and small forward."I don't know if Brewer can play point guard or not," Sloan said. "Those are things we have to look at, and try to evaluate as much as possible."
VAN HORN AVAILABLE: According to Tuesday's Dallas Morning News, former University of Utah star Keith Van Horn most recently with the Mavericks "is mulling his options, including retirement," and "may wait until the season begins (to) see if the right playing opportunity comes along."The Jazz didn't seriously consider inviting Van Horn to their camp, but they don't rule out considering him should one of their rotation-regular forwards be sidelined by a long-term injury.
ALUMNI UPDATE: Ex-Jazz players trying to win a job in NBA camps this month include 1999 first-rounder Scott Padgett, who hopes to make Houston's roster for the second time in three seasons. He spent last season in New Jersey, but the Nets waived him in June.In Seattle, where former Jazz guard Milt Palacio is camping with a non-guaranteed contract, ex-Jazz and new Sonics assistant coach Gordie Chiesa is installing and overseeing the Sonics' defense. Palacio underwent microfracture knee surgery during the offseason, and according to the Tacoma News Tribune he's "limited to one practice during training camp two-a-days."
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