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News » Jazz: Miles to go? No long for returning C.J.

Jazz: Miles to go? No long for returning C.J.

Jazz: Miles to go? No long for returning C.J. C.J. Miles showed up at the Utah Jazz's practice facility Wednesday morning with a huge smile on his face and a slight case of butterflies in his stomach.

Why not?

After missing the first 17 games of the season because of a torn thumb ligament that required surgery, Miles was only one uneventful workout away from returning to the active roster.

"I feel like today is a game day," Miles said before practice. "I've been sitting back there behind that bench for [six] weeks now, having flashbacks to my first two years."

Miles played in only 60 of 164 possible games during his first two seasons with the Jazz .

After signing a four-year, $15 million contract prior to last season, however, he moved into coach Jerry Sloan's starting lineup.

In 72 games, Miles averaged a career-high 9.1 points and helped stretch opposing defenses because of the three-point range on his jump shot.

Thanks partly to the all-around play of rookie replacement Wesley Matthews, however, the Jazz have won six of their last seven games. So Miles doesn't expect to step on the floor and immediately reclaim his old job.

Asked if he planned to start against the Pacers, Miles said, "I doubt it. I mean, why would I, the way Wes and the guys are playing? I wouldn't even want to be that guy to come in and mess with the chemistry. I just want to come and help."

Still, Miles knows the Jazz have dressed only nine players in seven of their last nine games and they will be shorthanded again, even if he returns against Indiana.

"There are definitely minutes [out] there," Miles said. "But at the same time, I'm just going to play and stay with my game and do what I can do to help the team keep winning."

Miles prepared for his return to full-seed practice by playing some games of 2-on-2 with a few teammates Tuesday.

Referring to 300-pound center Kyrylo Fesenko, Miles laughed and said, "With Fes on the court, you're always [susceptible] to getting hit. So, obviously, I've been bumped a couple of times and I've been fine so far."

Miles admits he lost some conditioning during his downtime, but he doesn't think it will take long to regain it.

"Of course I lost a little bit because you can't replace playing in a game," Miles said. "I did a lot of running and everything I could do to stay in the best shape I could.

"But I lost a little upper body strength because I couldn't lift weights. I was basically banned from the weight room for awhile. It will come back fast, though."

Sloan plans to take a wait-and-see approach concerning Miles' role when he returns.

"I don't know," Sloan said. "When people talk about roles, I've always said, 'You're job is to play Basketball. I'll make the decision with what we're going to do with you.' So I just have to see where he is. ... But I think Wes has done a pretty good job."

While the Jazz expect to have Miles available against Indiana, Andrei Kirienko will be a game-time decision because of a sore back and Ronnie Price is listed as doubtful because of the toe injury that has sidelined him for nearly a month.

Meanwhile, Kyle Korver returns to Utah on Thursday after rehabilitating his surgically-repaired knee in California.

The Jazz will have a better idea about a timetable for Korver's return once they see him.

Barring new injuries, however, it's apparent the Jazz are finally getting close to full health -- meaning 12 players available every night.

"We've been trying to get through [even though] we haven't had enough guys," Sloan said. "That's not as easy as it looks. You have to have a lot of luck when you are trying to do that." Miles file

C.J. Miles' statistics from the 2008-09 season:

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 3, 2009


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