Jazz: Kirilenko out against Warriors
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Andrei Kirilenko will miss tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors and his strained left calf is expected to keep him from playing until at least the start of the playoffs this weekend.

Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan said of seeing Kirilenko in practice Sunday and Monday, "what he did was not really that great. He's got a ways to go, it looks to me like ... he's back a ways from where we'd like for him to be but you can't do anything about injuries."

Kirilenko said he was continuing to make daily progress but was struggling in particular with changing directions on the defensive end in reaction to cutters. He has missed 14 of the past 16 games with calf issues, counting tonight's game.

"When I'm going to feel that I can hold like at least three, four minutes on the court, 5-on-5, running and defense, I'm going to go," Kirilenko said.

Kirilenko had stated a goal of returning for game action before the playoffs. The Jazz will face the challenge of reintegrating Kirilenko following a nearly monthlong layoff at the same time they prepare for their first-round opponent.

"Believe me, I'll try to get as much as possible work out and make it ready," Kirilenko said, adding, "It's a matter of a couple days, just to get it in the rhythm."

Mehmet Okur, meanwhile, said he would play tonight after missing Friday's victory in New Orleans with left Achilles tendinitis.

With two games remaining in the regular season, the Jazz still are capable of finishing anywhere from second to fifth place in the Western Conference and could play any of four teams -- Portland, Phoenix, San Antonio or Denver -- in the first round.

The Jazz could climb to No. 2 by winning their remaining games if Denver loses tonight at Phoenix and Dallas loses Wednesday to San Antonio. They would slip to No. 5 by losing their finale Wednesday against Phoenix at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Jazz would finish No. 3 if they win both games while the Nuggets lose and the Mavericks win. They would finish No. 4 if Denver wins tonight and the Jazz beat the Suns on Wednesday or if the Nuggets lose and the Jazz lose tonight but beat the Suns.

rsiler@sltrib.com

Jazz: Kirilenko out against Warriors