SALT LAKE CITY — The beard on Gordon Hayward's fuzzy face has had more time to develop over the past week and a half than his jumpshot.
Since spraining his right shoulder at the end of the Jazz's overtime win over Indiana on Jan. 26, the sixth man has been restricted to cardio exercise and zero basketball.
"I have not shot," Hayward said. "I'm getting anxious to."
Hayward called his injury situation "very frustrating," and is getting anxious to return to the court. He has missed the past four games and is being listed as "doubtful" by the team but certainly isn't quite ready to hit the hardwood just yet.
Jazz backup point guard Earl Watson (leg bruise, stress fracture) is also doubtful to play against the Sacramento Kings.
"It's not looking like it (tonight), but you never know," Hayward said. "Hopefully, maybe I'll just wake up one day and it'll be better."
To that point, Hayward said the shoulder is "getting better," but he still isn't sure when it'll be better enough to play or practice again.
"Slowly but surely it's coming along, but still not there yet," he said. "Very frustrating. It's probably the most games I've ever missed in my whole basketball career. It sucks being out, but you've got to be smart about it. I've just got to make sure it's right before I come back."
Neither Hayward nor Watson participated in this morning's shootaround session.
The Jazz (26-22) are hoping to begin their three-game homestand with a victory over the Kings (17-32) tonight at EnergySolutions Arena. The two teams play again Saturday in Sacramento.
More short shots from shootaround:
— Center Al Jefferson on the Kings, who've split their last six games with Utah:
"They're a good team and they're young. Once they get it together, I think they can be one of the top teams. Right now, they're just young and raw. But them are the dangerous teams."
— Guard Randy Foye on Sacramento, which has lost three straight:
"They're a good team. Obviously, they're a little younger, but they've got some guys who can go. They've got a lot of players who can go one-on-one, great isolation players. We just have to be ready for whatever they bring at us. We're just going to try to impose our will on them first."
— How will Utah do that?
"Just play the way we usually play — run our sets, play hard on defense, understanding what they want to do on offense and try to take it away."
— Does Jamaal Tinsley feel extra pressure knowing he's the only true point guard available to play with injuries to Mo Williams and Earl Watson:
"That's the nature of the beast. The good thing about it, Alec (Burks) gets to play more minutes. Maybe Kevin (Murphy) will get to play a little bit at the two (guard). That's just the nature of the business. Other guys get opportunities to play. I'm a little bit older now and in way better shape than I was when I was younger. It's all good for me."
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