MAITLAND, Fla. — Contrary to a report out of Russia, the Jazz say they are not pressuring starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko to opt not to play for his native Russia in the upcoming FIBA World Championships.
But the Jazz do seem to have worries about Kirilenko, who missed 15 of the final 17 games of the regular season and multiple playoff games due to a calf muscle strained three times in three different places.
"It's really up to Andrei," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said Wednesday night. "The only concern we have, and we expressed to him, is how he's taking care of his injury."
Kirilenko's agent, Marc Fleisher, said Tuesday that the two sides have discussed the pros and cons of not playing.
Skipping the world tourney, which begins late next month in Turkey, could cause quite an uproar in Russia, where Kirilenko — flag bearer for his country at the 2008 Olympics in China — is the star of the national team.
O'Connor on Wednesday said the Jazz have no word yet on what Kirilenko intends to do.
"That's gonna be up to him," the Jazz GM said.
A decision should come soon, according to Fleisher.