LOS ANGELES Veteran Jazz backup forward Matt Harpring's playing time no longer will be restricted by doctor's orders, Jazz trainer Gary Briggs said through a team spokeswoman Sunday.
The 31-year-old Harpring previously had been limited to 16 to 18 minutes per game, a consequence of undergoing surgery this past offseason for a third time on the same right knee.
But Jazz orthopedic specialist Dr. Lyle Mason has lifted the ban beginning with today's road game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Briggs relayed Sunday.
The first two surgeries for Harpring who is in his sixth season with the Jazz involved a more-serious microfracture procedure, and this past August's surgery was to clean out scar tissue in the repaired joint.
He played 35 games in the 41-game first half of the season, averaging 16 minutes and a Jazz career-low 7.8 points per game while missing one game because of inflammation in the knee.
SIGHT UNSEEN: No one came to Jazz shooting guard Kyle Korver's aid after he got kneed in the back by Denver's Linas Kleiza during last Thursday's loss to the Nuggets, but Jazz coach Jerry Sloan on Sunday absolved Korver's teammates for their inaction.
"After looking at it on film," Sloan said, "I don't know if they saw it ... to be able to react to it."
TRADE TALK: According to the Arizona Republic, Phoenix Suns managing partner Robert Sarver "said Saturday that the team will not make a major deal before the NBA's Feb. (21) trade deadline and added that nothing will change his mind over the next month."
The newspaper reported that includes both All-Star forward Shawn Marion and All-Star center Amare Stoudemire.
"They are just flat-out not getting traded," Sarver told the Republic. "We are going to play the season with our core. They deserve another chance to win a championship."
That presumably means no chance of a swap that would send Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko to Phoenix for Marion, something that was discussed by the two teams last offseason (albeit rejected by the Jazz) and reportedly internally discussed again by the Suns during the season.
Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, though, has not ruled out pursuing any trade that would help the club including the possibility of moving Kirilenko or any other player sometime before the deadline.
Both Marion and Kirilenko asked to be dealt during the offseason, and since then Kirilenko has not publicly withdrawn that request.MISC.: Jazz starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer was benched late in the Jazz's loss at Denver after getting beat on a play and briefly engaging in an exchange of words with Sloan during a timeout, but Brewer who logged a season-low 12 minutes in Denver was back in his usual starting spot and played 24 minutes during Friday's win over the Los Angeles Clippers. ... Today's game has an early afternoon start time because it's Martin Luther King Day. ... The Jazz have been weighing when to return rookie shooting guard Morris Almond to their D-League affiliate Utah Flash, but Almond who's been inactive the past two games and hasn't played in the past four made Sunday's trip with the team to Los Angeles. The Flash play Anaheim at home tonight, but then are off until Friday.
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