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Jazz forward Boozer out of action for another month

Injured Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer will be out of action at least another month in light of his most recent hamstring pull Monday.

An MRI scan on the latest injury revealed that it is significantly more extensive than the first one, suffered prior to the opening of the preseason schedule.

The Jazz brought team orthopedist Dr. Lyle Mason to their Zion's Bank Basketball Center practice facility Thursday morning to discuss Boozer's situation, knowing that many scoff at the amount of time Boozer has been away from the game for what was called a "minor" hamstring pull during the preseason.

Mason said an MRI on the strained hamstring, hurt first on Oct. 6 while Boozer was jogging and "tweaked" on Halloween, showed some damage.

"Yes, but it was minor — right at the insertion, right where the muscle attached into the bone. There was some fluid buildup there," said Mason, "and we could see that there had been some injury but no disruption or anything like that.

"But this time when it tore, or when it stretched, there were significantly more changes.

"The difference between the most recent MRI and the MRI before (Nov. 6) is profound," Mason said. "There is definite evidence that this is an acute injury in a different area. It's more extensive, and there's fluid in the muscle that was not there before, and this appeared immediately after the injury, so there's no question that this is a new injury, a re-injury.

"It's in the same hamstring, in the same general area, but it is in a more extensive area, and there are things seen on this new scan that were not seen on the previous scan."

Mason also said of the new damage, "It's not a horrible injury, not an avulsion or anything like that, but we can see definite evidence of a new injury."

Mason and Jazz senior vice president of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor said they expect Boozer to be able to play at some time during this season but expect it will be at least 30 days before Boozer will even be able to step on a court. He'll probably have to take even more time after that to get into game shape.

Boozer will not travel with the team for the next month or so and may be sent to other medical facilities for some of his rehabilitation, if the Jazz should find that someone else has an answer to returning him to health more quickly.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com