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Okur hobbled with case of 'dancer's toe'

Jazz center Mehmet Okur tries to defend Detroit guard Richard Hamilton as he drives to the hole in Utah's 100-85 exhibition win.
Jazz center Mehmet Okur tries to defend Detroit guard Richard Hamilton as he drives to the hole in Utah's 100-85 exhibition win.
Paul Sancya, Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Seeing that he was able to jokingly stand like a ballerina after Friday's preseason win over Detroit, it appears at first glance that Jazz center Mehmet Okur isn't too concerned about a cartilage injury that he said his doctor is calling "dancer's toe."

The discolored toe, however, has caused Okur some preseason problems.

"It's been hurting when I was in national team," said Okur, who played this past summer for his native Turkey in FIBA's EuroBasket tournament. "It just started to hurt, then I took a few days off right after tournament and I felt better.

"But as soon as I started running, I started to feel it again," he added. "It's not bad but still sore. Hopefully it's gonna get better before the season starts."

Okur, who's been treating the toe with ice, had 10 points and pulled down six rebounds but shot just 3-of-10 from the field while logging 20 minutes in Utah's 100-85 victory over his former Pistons club Friday.

The normally solid shooter has made only 6-of-19 in the Jazz's first two preseason games, but suspects he'll be fine with time.

"Hopefully I'll be 100 percent before the season starts (Oct. 30)," Okur said, adding he had no regrets over playing for the national team.

GO FIGURE: Friday's least surprising development was watching Pistons bad boy Rasheed Wallace get ejected after picking up his second technical in the third quarter.

Wallace picked up his first for demonstrative taunting after beating ex-teammate Okur on a opening-quarter spin move to the basket .

Wallace's early departure, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan suggested, was a turning point.

"They probably lost a little energy when (he) walked off the floor," Sloan said.

SORE SHOULDER: A sore left shoulder is why ex-Jazz guard Mo Williams of Milwaukee didn't play Wednesday in Utah, the Milwaukee Sentinel reported.

"I'm just being cautious with it," Williams, who signed a six-year, $51.5 million contract this past offseason, told the newspaper.

Williams, who injured the same shoulder last January, did practice Thursday and may be available when the Jazz visit the Bucks tonight in the back end of a back-to-back preseason road set.<

MISC.: Sloan also was hit with a technical, for blurting an eight-letter expletive in the second quarter. ... Jazz rookie Kyrylo Fesenko scored seven points and hit 3-of-5 field shots, boosting his bid to stick with the Jazz and not get assigned to the D-League's Utah Flash. One game after getting scolded by Sloan for having his shirt untucked, however, he did have a bit of trouble ripping off his warmup pants. ... Friday marked the first of five exhibition games in seven nights for Utah. ... As expected, Jazz veteran forward Matt Harpring (knee and ankle rehab) did not dress Friday. ... Free-agent hopeful Donnell Harvey (intestinal flu) also didn't dress for a second straight game.