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News » Boozer targets his return date

Boozer targets his return date

Boozer targets his return date
Power forward Carlos Boozer, the Jazz's leading scorer and rebounder, has a target for his return from arthroscopic knee surgery.

"I'd like to be back by All-Star," said Boozer, an NBA All-Star each of the past two seasons. "We'll see how the knee gets better, and we'll go from there."

This year's NBA All-Star Game is Feb. 15 in Phoenix.

The Jazz's last game before it is Feb. 11 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, and their first after is Feb. 17 against Memphis.

Boozer was injured Nov. 19 against Milwaukee, and he underwent surgery Jan. 9 to remove loose particles from his left knee.

The Jazz announced the day after his surgery that Boozer would have a four-week rehab period, which would run through the first weekend in February.

But Boozer, speaking Tuesday to reporters for the first time since his surgery, was noncommittal when asked about the timetable.

"Four, five, six weeks -- whatever it ends up being," he said.

If Boozer weren't available until a full six weeks after surgery, he wouldn't play again until Feb. 21 against New Orleans.

That also happens to be the Jazz's first game following the NBA's Feb. 19 trade deadline, and their first of the season's final 27 games.

Boozer, who's played just 12 games so far this season, said "surgery was fantastic, better than I thought it was gonna be."

"I'm walking pretty good," he said.

"Still trying to get a little bit of the swelling out, try(ing) to have more mobility, doing things to strengthen it right now," he added. "But I'm on the right path ... The good thing is the pain is gone, and now I'm on my way to recovery and being healthy."

Boozer suggested he hopes he can help the Jazz earn a top-four seed for the start of the Western Conference playoffs.

"It would be great to have homecourt advantage for a little bit," he said. "That's our goal."

In the meantime, though, Utah has struggled to win with any significant degree of consistency.

The Jazz won five straight to start the season and four in a row earlier this month, but besides that none of their winning streaks has lasted more than two games.

"It's frustrating to see us go up and down right now," Boozer said, "because I feel like we have a really talented team once we get completely healthy and get going.

"We're playing against teams that are at full strength. It goes against us sometimes. Like (last Wednesday's loss at) Oklahoma City -- that was tough for me to watch. We're better than that.

"But ... the good thing," he added, "is we're only a few games away from, like, the second seed, the third seed, in the West."

CAMP POSTPONED: Boozer had a three-day Basketball camp for kids that was supposed to start today at Salt Lake Community College, but it's been rescheduled for March 25-27.

The Jazz play at Phoenix on March 25, but are in town the next two days.

Cost is $265; to register, call 1-800-725-6958 or log onto

KJZZ VS. DIRECTV: KJZZ still is denying retransmission rights to DirecTV, but Jazz president Randy Rigby said Tuesday that the Jazz-affiliated station is "making progress" in negotiations with the satellite giant.

KJZZ wants to start charging DirecTV for its programming, which includes a limited number of Jazz games, but DirecTV refuses to pay.

The next Jazz game scheduled to be aired on KJZZ is Saturday vs. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

HOT ROD PLANS: Radio play-by-play announcer Hot Rod Hundley has told Jazz management he only wants to call home games next season, but Rigby said no decision in that regard has been made -- and no candidates to call road games, should the team agree to Hundley's request, have been identified. E-mail:

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 22, 2009


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