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Utah Jazz: Watson's bruised bone adds to Jazz's slew of injuries

Published February 2, 2013 8:23 pm

Jazz notes • MRI showed bone bruise, stress fracture on leg.
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Portland, Ore. • At least someone around the Jazz got good news from a doctor recently.

Mo Williams' wife, Keisha, gave birth to the couple's fourth child on Saturday, a healthy 7-pound boy who, according to Williams' post on Twitter, the couple named Maxwell Roman.

As for the rest of the Jazz? The medical updates have been less positive.

Already without Williams (sidelined following thumb surgery) and Gordon Hayward (sprained right shoulder), the Jazz lost a third member of their backcourt Saturday when an MRI on Earl Watson's right leg revealed a bone bruise and a small stress fracture.

"All the stuff we've been talking about since training camp," center Al Jefferson said, "how deep this team is? Now it's about to come into play."

Watson was scheduled to travel to Portland on Saturday, but did not make the trip after the MRI showed he had bone bruising on his right fibula head and lateral tibia and the stress fracture on the tibia surface.

The team left the timeline for his return loose, saying only that he will be able to resume activity "as his comfort level improves."

Coach Tyrone Corbin said he did not think Watson's injury was related to the April knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus a torn that kept Watson out of last year's playoffs and forced him to miss the first games of this season.

Instead, Corbin said, the point guard was hit on the leg on Wednesday in the game against the New Orleans Hornets.

In Watson's absence, the Jazz will be forced to thrust second-year guard Alec Burks into the backup point guard position — behind Jamaal Tinsley, himself a replacement starter for Williams.

"He's a great shooting guard who can run the point," Jefferson said. "He's a good defender. Smart player. He's just kind of one of them guys that you're glad you have on your team."

Asked if he would use a three-guard rotation, Corbin joked, "I don't know if I have three guards."

Despite the injuries to key players, the Jazz have consistently climbed the Western Conference standings, sitting 1½ games ahead of Houston for the seventh seed entering Saturday's games.

Before their game at the Rose Garden, the Jazz had won nine of their last 12 games.

"The body of work that you've had up to this point should allow us to make adjustments," Corbin said, "and guys have to step up and play more minutes, and some guys will play different positions for us at times."


Twitter: @tribjazz




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