Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Utah's Mehmet Okur works out on elliptical machine while talking to reporters about his hamstring injury Tuesday.

LOS ANGELES — Mehmet Okur's absence; spilled milk.

Any difference? Jazz coach Jerry Sloan doesn't seem to think so.

"Well, you can't cry about it," Sloan said when asked Tuesday about his Jazz center missing Game 2 of the Jazz's first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Okur, out for more than a week now, missed a second game in the series due to a right hamstring that still hasn't healed.

"Same thing every day: I'm doing better, actually, but not quite ready," he said.

"It's hard," Okur added. "I wish I was out there playing and practicing with them. It's hard, but this is part of the game."

The one-time NBA All-Star from Turkey was offered advice by teammate Carlos Boozer, who's had hamstring issues of his own — and previously missed more than half a season because of it.

"He told me, 'Just keep getting treatment; you'll get better,' " Okur said.

Okur, who is doing just, has never previously had hamstring problems.

"That's why it's hard to judge," he said.

Sloan, though, knows all about them — and that's why he's not surprised the absence has dragged on.

"Those things can really cause you a problem," he said.

"I wouldn't take a chance on anybody's career and stick them out there," the Jazz coach added, "when they're not ready to play."

Asked when Okur might return, Sloan said, "I can't worry about that. I have to worry about who else am I gonna try to play against the team we're playing against. That's all I can do. I feel bad about the player, but we have to go on about our business. Our job still remains the same."

With Okur out Tuesday, veteran big man Jarron Collins started a second straight playoff game at center against the Lakers.

HARPRING DRESSES: Veteran reserve forward Matt Harpring missed Tuesday's morning shootaround due to what the team called "gastric distress," but he dressed Tuesday night.

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Harpring said he had a bad stomach reaction to antibiotics he was taking for a nasal infection that caused him to miss a practice last week.

With Harpring active, healthy rookie big man Kosta Koufos again was inactive for the Jazz.

HE SAID IT: Sloan, when asked before Tuesday's game if he thought his club would play any nastier against the Lakers: "We gave 'em some nasty food."

START TIME: The NBA on Tuesday announced that if a Game 5 in Los Angeles is necessary in the series, it will start at 8:30 p.m. (MDT) Monday and will be aired on TNT.

KJZZ also will carry the game locally.