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Hurting Williams finally hits practice floor

BOISE — Deron Williams took part Thursday night in his first practice of training camp, but only after the Jazz point guard visited a Boise hospital to address additional complications related to the removal last Friday of three impacted wisdom teeth.

"I woke up ... like 3 in the morning," Williams said. "It was so bad I went to the emergency room."

Williams was treated at the hospital and later Thursday by a doctor for dry socket, a terrifically painful condition which occurs when the blood clot at the site of a tooth extraction is dislodged and exposes underlying nerves and bone.

On Wednesday, Williams — still in pain and not eating solid foods after complications in the initial procedure necessitated a bone graft — showed up at practice with a pillow.

By Thursday night, though, Williams was feeling a lot better and able to complete the entire two-hour practice session.

NICE HIRE: Williams, who this past offseason publicly criticized teammate Andrei Kirilenko for his work ethic last season, seemed encouraged that the Jazz have hired retired shooting guard Jeff Hornacek as a special assistant assigned to work with the Russian small forward.

"That's definitely good for A.K., to have somebody of that caliber working with him," Williams said.

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, meanwhile, addressed Williams' criticism of Kirilenko.

"If you look at (Kirilenko's) body of work over the five years, I think he's worked hard," O'Connor said. "I think if you look at last year, then probably he didn't work as hard — and maybe we didn't work as hard with him."

BOOZER STILL OUT: Absent from camp again Thursday was starting power forward Carlos Boozer, who is spending time (with permission from the team) at home in Miami while one of his young sons continues to recover from a bone marrow transplant related to his battle with sickle cell anemia.

During a radio appearance earlier this week Jazz owner Larry H. Miller put a 7- to 10-day window on Boozer's anticipated return, but O'Connor suggested Thursday he wasn't sure when Boozer would report.

"I'd love to give you a definitive date," O'Connor said. "I just can't."

Missing two starters for so much of camp, coach Jerry Sloan suggested Thursday, is simply a reality with which the Jazz must deal.

"Only time can tell what kind of rhythm they get back in, and how we get back in and start playing together, and that sort of thing," Sloan said. "You know, everybody wants everything perfect. But sometimes you don't have that."

MISC.: After three straight days' worth of two-a-day camp sessions at Boise State University, the Jazz will hold a single practice today and break camp in Boise following practice Saturday ... The University of Illinois reportedly is considering retiring Williams' uniform number from his days with the Illini ... A few title changes this season for the Jazz: O'Connor goes from "senior vice president of basketball operations" to "basketball operations executive vice president" and "general manager"; Walt Perrin goes from "player personnel director" to "player personnel vice president"; former "head scout" Troy Weaver is elevated to "player personnel director;" and salary cap guru Bob Hyde goes from "business operations senior vice president" to "executive vice president and assistant GM" ... Jazz center Mehmet Okur has new Nike shoes this season — and for the first time in his career they come embossed with his well-known nickname, Memo ... Point guard Brian Chase, who started last season on the Jazz roster but never did appear in a regular-season game, is in training camp this month with Miami.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com