He joked about being a game-time decision for Friday night's home-opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.

But after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier this week, the truth is Jazz backup shooting guard Kyle Korver isn't certain when he'll return.

Initial word was that it would be a six-week recovery-to-return period, but now he's hopeful it may not take quite so long.

"It would just be a guess right now, throwing out a number ... We don't really know," said Korver, who underwent surgery Wednesday morning in New York, flew from there to Utah on Thursday night and was at Jazz shootaround Friday morning. "But obviously I want to get back as soon as possible."

Korver had a patellar-tendon-related bone spur removed, but he said his surgeon, Dr. David Altcheck, addressed other issues, as well, including cleaning up the kneecap.

"They found a little flap in there that they took out that was catching ... in the groove where my kneecap slides," he said.

Korver suggested he's just happy to know what the problem was, and that it's been taken care of — because for the longest time, he wasn't sure what it might be.

"That was really frustrating, because it just wasn't really getting better and it hurt a lot," said Korver, who also underwent surgery in the offseason to repair his shooting wrist. "You know, I've played in pain before — especially last year, with the wrist. And I really just wanted a year where I could really play.

"So I was really frustrated with it. But we tried everything besides the surgery. I tried to get it right. But it just wasn't healing."

Korver, who missed all but one of the Jazz's eight preseason games, still isn't sure if the injury resulted from a specific incident or simply developed over time.

"It first started hurting in September, when I was trying to get ready (for the season), but I just thought it was general knee pain," he said. "We all have that all the time, you know, so I really didn't think a whole lot of it.

"Then, once we really started practicing and really started playing (in early October), that's when it really hurt."

Korver will be reexamined by Altcheck on Nov. 9 in New York.

"I'm not trying to jump or anything, but I feel like I can walk around," Korver said. "That's encouraging to me."

KOUFOS OPTION EXERCISED: The Jazz on Friday exercised their third-year, 2010-11 season option on second-season big man Kosta Koufos.

"I think he's demonstrated the fact he's improved, and we feel he's an NBA player," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said.

Now that Koufos is officially under contract for next season at $1.3 million, the Jazz anticipate — and expect — further improvement.

But they know it will be no overnight process.

"He's 20 years old," O'Connor said, "and development, generally, of players that are that young takes significant time."

The Jazz took Koufos, who played one season at Ohio State, 23rd overall in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. The American-born big also is a member of Greece's national team.

"I appreciate the extra commitment the Utah Jazz has given me," said Koufos, who had five points and eight rebounds in 13 minutes Friday.

CLASSIC COSTUME: Korver wouldn't say what he planned to wear for Halloween tonight, but he did disclose his costume from last year.

"I was D-Will in college," he said with reference to Jazz point guard Deron Williams. "I got this fat-man suit, a wig and his college uniform, drew a panther on my arm. It was pretty funny."

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com