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News » Jazz determined to bring Boozer back carefully

Jazz determined to bring Boozer back carefully

Jazz determined to bring Boozer back carefully
MINNEAPOLIS ? Now that he's back, the Jazz don't want to rush Carlos Boozer into doing too much too soon. In fact, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan seemed much more concerned Tuesday with chastising the media for questioning the length of Boozer's absence than hurrying along his two-time NBA All-Star. "Boozer's a long way from him being where we'd like for him to be," Sloan said the morning after his starting power forward played for the first time since missing 44 straight games because of a November injury that did not initially seem all that serious.

"But that's what you have to deal with, to try to get him in shape ? and hopefully he doesn't get hurt (again). "That's what you worry about with any player, when they're trying to struggle back through it and getting in condition to play. "That's our job, is to tell him we don't put any pressure on. Y'all will put enough pressure on him, by the comments that you make and the things you say ? you know, 'Why isn't the guy playing; why is this not happening; he's been out all these years, all these games.'?" Sloan added "I tell all the players, 'Take a couple extra days if it's necessary for you to come back and play, because this is a long season and there's a lot of Basketball left.'?" Sloan on Tuesday didn't seem to have any issue whatsoever with how long Boozer, who also missed 31 games in the 2004-05 season with a foot injury and 49 in the '05-06 season with a hamstring injury, was out. "I've never found anybody that's not really wanted to play," he said. "They know their bodies better than I do." Boozer, who underwent arthroscopic surgery early last month to cleanse debris from his left knee, plans to pace himself after logging 21 minutes in Monday's victory over Atlanta. "I think that the great thing about it is it's not a sprint," Boozer, who is expected to play again Wednesday night vs. Minnesota, said while pedaling a stationary bike Tuesday. "It's a marathon, and when I get back (to full strength) I'll be back for the rest of the year ? not just to come out and play 40 minutes (in the first game back) just to prove I can do it. "I have to get my rhythm back, and my condition back," he added, "to put myself back into it, so I'm not back out." Teammates seem to understand. "He was great," point guard Deron Williams said of Boozer's five-boards, two-points, two-assists, two-steals, 1-for-5 shooting play against the Hawks. "He was a little bit rusty, which he should be after three months off." KIRILENKO, HARPRING INJURY UPDATES: The Jazz practiced Tuesday without sixth-man forward Andrei Kirilenko, who instead visited a doctor for what the team called a "neurological check" on his back. According to a Jazz spokesman, though, everything "checked out fine" and Kirilenko traveled with the club to Minnesota. There was no further explanation from the team as to why a neurological exam was needed, though the spokesman did say Kirilenko's injury was muscle ? and not vertebrae ? related. Meanwhile, reserve forward Matt Harpring has a bruised back and bruised elbow as a result of the fall he took when fouled by Atlanta's Josh Smith on Monday. Harpring, who scored a season-high 15 points against his hometown Hawks, didn't practice Monday, either. But he's is expected to play Wednesday night. HE SAID IT: Williams, on the Timberwolves: "They're a team we should beat ? We can't let them gain confidence on us. We can't let them jump on us. We have to jump on them." MISC.: Waived last week by Sacramento, ex-Jazz big man Mikki Moore shunned interest from Denver and signed Tuesday with Boston. The Jazz like Moore but didn't exhibit any interest in wanting to sign him ? Jazz backup center Jarron Collins' twin brother, Jason Collins of the Timberwolves, had a 31-game stretch in which he didn't play earlier this season but has been used lately against teams with bigger lineups. E-MAIL:

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Added: February 26, 2009


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