PORTLAND, Ore. Starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko did not travel with the team Friday and will not play tonight at Portland.
Kirilenko injured his back in the final five minutes of Thursday's practice, and is out with what the Jazz are calling lower-back inflammation. He didn't practice Friday, and planned to visit the Jazz's orthopedic specialist, Dr. Lyle Mason, later in the day.
No timetable for how long the 2004 NBA All-Star from Russia is expected to be out was made known.
The last time Kirilenko missed any regular season because of back issues came during the 2005-06 season, when he sat out six games because of muscle spasms.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said prior to Friday's practice that he wasn't sure how he would replace Kirilenko, who is averaging 11.5 points and 34.1 minutes this season, in the opening lineup for tonight's game against the Trail Blazers.
He has multiple options, including starting usual backup shooting guard C.J. Miles at small forward and giving Miles' backup-2 minutes to recently acquired Kyle Korver, or plugging Korver into Kirilenko's spot and sticking with Miles off the bench behind starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer.
"Andrei plays a lot, so it's a group effort," said Korver, who has averaged 12.5 points and 14.5 minutes in his first two games with the Jazz.
Miles started when Kirilenko missed a Dec. 29 loss to Boston because of a strained right biceps/shoulder injury, but at that time Korver had not yet been traded from Philadelphia to Utah.
And Sloan seemed uncertain Friday as to just how he wants to continue integrating Korver into the Jazz lineup. He came off the bench behind both Brewer and Miles in each of his first two games with the team but wound up finishing both.
"I don't know where we'll play him, how we'll play him," Sloan said of Korver, who was acquired from the 76ers for veteran swingman Gordan Giricek and a lottery-protected future first-round draft choice. "We still have to figure out what we're doing with some of the other guys and see what we're able to accomplish there and see how they play."He (Korver) is interested in winning," Sloan added. "And I think if he played 10 minutes or 40 minutes or 80 minutes, I think he would try to do his job the best he can, and then go home. He doesn't seem to be a guy that gets an attitude. He's trying to find his way here, (and) we're trying to help him as much as we can."
FAMILIAR FACES: Sloan and Utah tonight will be seeing the 20-13 Blazers for the fourth time in 25 days."They've got two wonderful, young players, obviously, with (LaMarcus) Aldridge and (Brandon) Roy, and (Jarrett) Jack is a great young player. (Travis) Outlaw is a great young player. Their whole team is very young. And they're well-coached (by Nate McMillan)," Sloan said. "They seem to be pretty resilient. They play hard, but you never hear them complain, you never see them complaining. They just go out and play, and they seem to have their attitude in the right place."
HE SAID IT: Korver, on getting used to being with a team that plays in the Western Conference: "I was watching Portland play Chicago (Thursday night on TV), and in my mind I'm thinking, 'C'mon Portland, win the game.' And I'm like, 'Wait a minute, I've got to change my thinking here."'