He’s a great guy to have around. Even at halftime of games, he’s talking to guys and trying to help from afar so a dude with that much experience is great. —Jazz forward Joe Ingles, on Thabo Sefolosha
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s highly unlikely that Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha will be returning to the lineup this season.
The injured forward is technically listed as being out indefinitely, but after suffering a torn MCL in his right knee he’s very likely to sit for the remainder of the year.
Sefolosha, 33, isn’t allowing himself to be defeated by the injury, though.
The league veteran was spotted during Wednesday’s practice in a thick black knee brace, his customary Nike Air Max 90 sneakers and a huge smile on his face.
He even shot free throws, without crutches, on the far end of the practice facility with teammate Derrick Favors and Jazz assistants Antonio Lang and DeSagana Diop.
There is still no timetable on Sefolosha’s return.
He originally underwent surgery on Jan. 17 with team physician Dr. Travis Maak, but he's making progress. He now spends most of his time in the training room getting treatment, but it was good to have him around.
“Some of the things we miss about Thabo are the things that happen between plays,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “His voice, his experience. He added a lot to our team from a leadership standpoint, so to the extent that he’s doing better, he’s here and having his support and leadership there’s only so much you can do when you’re not playing but his energy is really good.”
Before going down, Sefolosha was averaging 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds while bringing versatility on the defensive end in his 12th season.
He may not be suiting up to play, but his veteran presence inside the locker room is still being felt.
“He’s a great guy to have around,” said Jazz forward Joe Ingles. “Even at halftime of games, he’s talking to guys and trying to help from afar so a dude with that much experience is great.
“Obviously, we’d prefer him to be playing but what he’s done off the court with his rehab of trying to get back and then helping guys has been awesome.”