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It was the day after Christmas 2015 that Alec Burks came crashing to the ground, breaking his ankle in the process.
Exactly one year later, the Utah Jazz shooting guard was actually able to enjoy some holiday cheer.
Burks participated partially in the Jazz's light practice Monday afternoon in Salt Lake City for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove an extra piece of bone from his injured ankle on Nov. 1.
"It was great to see him out there," Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood said. "We didn't do too much, but he looked good in what we were doing. He was moving well. So I don't know really what's the timetable [for Burks' return] but it's just great to have him out there on the floor."
After back-to-back injury-shortened campaigns, the slashing guard had hoped for a bounce-back performance this season, but the 25-year-old Burks again ran into issues. His ankle bothered him throughout training camp, forcing him to undergo arthroscopic surgery. Burks, who has averaged 10.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for his career, has yet to make his season debut for the Jazz.
His teammates hope Monday's practice, however, was the next step toward his return.
"It's hard to judge him. We didn't do much," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "But more than anything, it looked like he was moving good."
Jazz point guard George Hill was also a partial participant in practice, his most action since spraining his left big toe nearly a month ago.
Hood, meanwhile, is expected to play Tuesday against the Lakers after dealing with a flu bug in recent days.
"I'm feeling a lot better," Hood said. "Getting some of my energy back, getting some of my weight back. So I feel good right now."
The Jazz will be looking to snap a three-game losing when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at Staples Center. In their last meeting, the Jazz narrowly escaped with a victory after Lakers guard Lou Williams went off for 38 points.
"They were banged up and you can see how injury can impact your team," Snyder said. "They're healthy now. They have Nick Young back. D'Angelo Russell is back. And Lou Williams is obviously playing at a high level. You saw the teams they beat early when they were healthy. So it's a tough game."