This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko has a fractured right thumb, the Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
He will miss the remainder of the season as a result of the injury, and will be unable to play basketball for at least a month.
Fesenko injured his thumb Monday while defending teammate Paul Millsap during practice in Los Angeles. Fesenko was initially diagnosed with a jammed right thumb, and the finger was placed in a splint. A magnetic resonance imaging exam taken Tuesday night at Staples Center produced negative X-rays. The Jazz said that Fesenko had a sprained right thumb, and he did not play against the Los Angeles Lakers. Another MRI was taken Wednesday in Salt Lake City, though, confirming Fesenko's fracture.
His hand was heavily wrapped today and his thumb which has a fracture at the base of the first phalanx was in a splint. Fesenko thanked Utah's training staff for forcing him to get the second MRI. He initially hoped to play tonight against Portland, and could have ruptured a tendon if he hurt the thumb again.
The 7-foot-1, 280-pound Fesenko averaged 2 points and 2 rebounds in 53 games for Utah, making one start.
He signed a one-year, $1 million contract last summer with the Jazz as a restricted free agent. Fesenko, 24, entered training camp slimmed down and in good shape, and has shown flashes of promise this season. But he has also been plagued by everything from foul trouble and inconsistency to a lack of focus. Fesenko acknowledged that this could be the end of his career with Utah, and is disappointed to end the season with an injury.
Fesenko set career highs in minutes (8.6) and games this year, averaging 2.3 points and 2 rebounds in 132 games for Utah from 2007-11.
Brian T. Smith