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Rudy Gay will miss preseason as he recovers from offseason heel surgery

Although not cleared for full contact, the veteran forward is expected to be back on the court early in the regular season

Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay motions as he talks during the Utah Jazz media media day at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay motions as he talks during the Utah Jazz media media day at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. Gay is recovering from offseason heel surgery and will not be competing during the preseason.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

LAS VEGAS — New Utah Jazz acquisition Rudy Gay will not be playing during the preseason as he recovers from offseason surgery.

At the end of last season, Gay had surgery on his left heel to remove a bone spur and hasn’t yet been cleared for full contact.

While Gay will not play in the Jazz’s four preseason games, the veteran forward is expected to be back on the court soon. The procedure on Gay’s heel was a minor one and minimally invasive, but allowing Gay to take things easy through training camp and the preseason will allow him to come back pain free at some point early in the regular season.

With Gay sidelined, it will likely mean some more opportunity for Eric Paschall and other players on the edges of the main rotation to get in some valuable playing time through the Jazz’s four preseason games.

Forward Bojan Bogdanovic has also not been cleared for full contact, but only out of an abundance of caution, team officials say. Bogdanovic has been nursing a sore shoulder through training camp. If the regular season was starting tomorrow, Bogdanovic would be fine to play, but since the team has plenty of time, the Jazz are letting him rest up.

“This is a time to be really smart and conservative about about those things and make sure guys are in the best spot possible,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “There’s things they can do, they can participate, they’re just not in full contact.”

Outside of that, the Jazz’s training camp in Las Vegas has been a success and the team is preparing for its first preseason game on Oct. 4 on the road against the San Antonio Spurs.