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Utah Jazz: Injured Brewer still on the mend

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Jazz starting shooting guard Ronnie Brewer sat out practice Thursday with a strained groin, and the team is calling him "questionable" for tonight's game against San Antonio.

If Brewer doesn't play against the Spurs, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said, usual backup point guard Ronnie Price probably would make a third straight start.

Brewer had 20 points and was on pace for a career-high scoring effort when he got hurt in the second half of last Sunday's loss at Minnesota.

He's missed two games since.

Brewer said he'd "love" to play tonight but didn't know if he would.

"Still resting it, getting treatment," he said, adding he was being extra cautious so that the injury is not aggravated.

"You definitely can get hurt, and instead of being out one or two games it can be weeks," said Brewer, who missed much of last year's Rocky Mountain Revue summer league with a hamstring injury. "So I'm trying to rest it a little bit, make sure I'm 100 percent when I come back."

Brewer said the injury has improved the past few days.

"A lot better," he said. "When I first did it I had a knot and a big bruise, but ... it's relaxed a little bit, the swelling went down and I'm moving around a lot better."

KIRILENKO OK: On Thursday morning, Andrei Kirilenko said he felt "fine."

It's little wonder.

In his first game back after missing two with a bruised calf, the Jazz's starting small forward finished with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field — including Utah's first basket in Wednesday's home win over Minnesota.

In Wednesday's first two minutes, in fact, he not only had a layup but also a block, a rebound and an assist.

"I thought he did OK," Sloan said. "I thought he was pretty active, not having played. He came right out, made some nice passes, got some rebounds and did some things to help us.

"And we need all the help we can get," Sloan added, "from everybody."

Kirilenko — who has missed 10 games this season due to five different injuries/ailments (one with a strained biceps tendon, three due to muscle spasms in his lower back, one with flulike symptoms, three with a sprained hip and two because of the calf) — said he was pain-free Thursday.

MISC.: Spurs reserve Bobby Jones, signed by San Antonio last Tuesday, this week became the first player in NBA history to play for five teams in the same season. Jones also has been with Denver, Memphis, Houston and Miami this season. ... With his 14 assists against Minnesota on Wednesday night, point guard Deron Williams moved past Jeff Hornacek (1,895) and into fourth place on the Jazz's all-time assists list. Williams now has 1,905 in 235 games and trails only John Stockton (15,806), Karl Malone (5,082) and Rickey Green (4,159) ... Weber product/NBA journeyman Eddie Gill, who played on the Jazz's Revue team last July, was not re-signed by Seattle after his 10-day contract expired earlier this week. Instead, the Sonics on Thursday signed swingman Ronald Dupree from Tulsa of the NBA Development League.

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com