No matter what results come back this morning from the MRI exam that Carlos Boozer underwent late Thursday afternoon on his strained right calf, the Jazz can look forward to playing shorthanded tonight against Sacramento.
With Deron Williams missing the game to attend a funeral, Kyrylo Fesenko still recovering from a sprained ankle and Boozer potentially out as well, the Jazz recalled Kosta Koufos after a one-game stay with the NBA Development League's Utah Flash.
They will be able to dress at least 10 players tonight with the addition of Koufos. As for Boozer, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said any early assessments of his strained calf would be purely speculative.
Boozer was injured in the third quarter Wednesday in Portland when he made a bad step while taking out the ball after a basket. O'Connor has not ruled out Boozer for tonight, although he acknowledged calf injuries are relatively new ground for him.
Among NBA players, Washington's Mike Miller suffered the most extreme recent strained calf, missing 19 games this season, although they have been nothing more than day-to-day injuries for several others.
There is added urgency for Boozer to return as quickly as possible since he is playing in a contract year.
The Jazz are expected to start Ronnie Price in Williams' absence, with Sundiata Gaines serving as backup point guard. Paul Millsap would start for Boozer while Koufos will give the Jazz a fourth available big man.
Although they'd hoped for Koufos to stay longer with the Flash, the Jazz have the option of assigning him to the D-League twice more this season. Fesenko, meanwhile, no longer has to wear the walking boot he has been in since he was injured Jan. 16.
Circling the wagons
Jazz chief executive Greg Miller posted a brash message Thursday morning on his Twitter account.
Wrote Miller: "All you Jazz fans who jumped off the wagon a few weeks back until we traded everyone: Come on back. You're missing some great ball games."
Miller later elaborated on his comments in a blog post: "It was my way of having a little good-natured interaction with all of the fans who expressed their frustration to me and offered all kinds of advice when we [the Jazz] were slumpling [sic] earlier this month."
Miller attempted to draw parallels between Toyota's recent recall woes and the ups and downs of the Jazz. As easy as it would be for him to be frustrated with the current state of Toyota, the car manufacturer's track record speaks for itself, Miller wrote.
"I hope Utah Jazz fans feel the same way about us," Miller added, "and I feel a deep sense of gratitude for those who do."
Scruffy and streaking
Although he vowed not to trim his beard until the Jazz assembled a five-game winning streak, Williams said he would wait to do so even if the Jazz win tonight and reach the mark. "We'll have a streak," Williams said, "so I can't just change it."
At EnergySolutions Arena
Time » 7 p.m.
TV » FSN Utah
Radio » 1320 AM, 98.7 FM
Records » Jazz 27-18, Sacramento 16-28
Last meeting » Kings, 104-99 (Nov. 7)
Line » Jazz by 6
About the Jazz » The Jazz will be looking to avenge their shocking home loss to Sacramento in November. Tyreke Evans scored 32 points with seven assists to lead the Kings, who outscored the Jazz 66-38 in the middle two quarters on the way to the victory. ... The Jazz will raise a banner to honor longtime broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley at halftime, in addition to naming the press room after Hundley before the game. ... The Jazz have won six straight at home.
About the Kings » The Kings had lost 12 of 13 games before beating Golden State, 99-96, on Tuesday. ... Kevin Martin is averaging 12.7 points but shooting just 31.2 percent in seven games since returning from wrist surgery. Martin has made only 3 of 23 shots the past three games. ... Evans is bidding to join Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Oscar Robertson to average 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists a game as a rookie.