Portland, Ore. • Raja Bell’s uncertain status with the Jazz has finally been updated. The shooting guard is out indefinitely after receiving a hyalgan injection in his left knee Monday. Bell had spent the past week being evaluated in Miami. Neither Utah nor Bell’s agent, Herb Rudoy, provided official information about the player’s status while Bell was away from the team.
The 12-year veteran is expected to return to Salt Lake City on Wednesday, and he’ll be re-examined by team orthopedist Lyle Mason. An update about Bell’s progress will be provided “when appropriate,” the Jazz said.
The 35-year-old guard has started 33 games this season, averaging 6.6 points while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 40.5 behind the 3-point line. He’s dealt with lingering groin and knee injuries, though, and has played in only six of the Jazz’s 22 games since the All-Star break. Bell has been out since March 17, and hasn’t been with the team for four consecutive contests.
Bell explored less-invasive surgical measures in Miami, which would’ve allowed him to return to action as soon as possible. He said March 25 he was considering microfracture surgery.
The 12-year veteran is making a pro-rated $3.2 million this season and is under contract through 2012-13.
Coach Tyrone Corbin said Monday the Jazz back Bell and want him to do the best thing for his career.
“Raja’s a veteran guy and we support him in whatever his decision [he makes],” said Corbin, prior to tipoff against the Portland Trail Blazers.
After watching the Los Angeles Clippers knock down 10 of 21 3-pointers Saturday during a victory against the Jazz, Corbin acknowledged Utah must improve its all-around defensive effort.
While the Jazz rank seventh out of 30 teams in opponents’ 3-point makes (318) and eighth in percentage (33.4), Utah has long had a tendency to be picked apart beyond the arc during crucial moments.
“We’ve got to finish the plays off,” Corbin said.
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