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Mo Williams underwent a successful procedure Wednesday in New York to have two pins removed from his right thumb, the first major step toward a return to the floor for the Jazz point guard.
Williams missed his 25th straight game since tearing a ligament in the thumb on Dec. 22 in Miami, and his 29th overall. The Jazz (29-24) are 18-11 without Williams.
The 30-year-old point guard, acquired in an offseason trade with the Clippers, is a free agent after the season. In an interview with media earlier this week, General Manager Dennis Lindsey said Williams "could" be the Jazz's long-term point guard solution and that "he has acquitted himself well here."
However, a timeline for his return is still not specified. Williams is expected to return to Salt Lake City and begin rehabbing the thumb immediately.
How soon he appears in a game will be based on how quickly he regains full motion and strength in the thumb.
Williams spent six weeks with his thumb in a splint, but was frequently seen at Jazz practices working on conditioning and participating in drills with his left hand.
He originally underwent surgery on Jan. 4. The procedure was performed by specialist Dr. Michelle Carlson, who on Wednesday also removed the pins holding the repaired ligament in place. Williams was already familiar with Carlson: she repaired torn ligaments in the same thumb in 2008, when Williams was a point guard with the Milwaukee Bucks.