By mid-afternoon Wednesday, Enes Kanter was alert in his hospital room, watching a movie.
Kanter underwent surgery to repair a dislocated left shoulder earlier in the day in Chicago. His agent called the procedure “very simple” and said it “went perfect.” But, as the Utah Jazz announced a day earlier, their amiable backup center will miss the remainder of the season and is unlikely to return to the team before the end of year.
Kanter’s agent, Max Ergul, said the second-year Jazz center would remain in Chicago for the foreseeable future to rehab the shoulder, which he injured while diving for a loose ball against Phoenix on March 27.
Ergul said he did not know when Kanter would return to Salt Lake City.
“He has no reason right now,” Ergul said. “His medical staff is here [in Chicago], his rehab staff is here. He will start with that Friday.”
Kanter already had plans to spend part of the offseason in Chicago, and in the past has worked with noted trainer Tim Grover, formerly Michael Jordan’s personal trainer.
General manager Dennis Lindsey said it was likely Kanter would remain in Chicago for the remainder of the season, and that rather than make him travel post-surgery, Jazz representatives would visit him in the Windy City.
The Jazz are winners of seven of their last nine games, but with three games remaining are a game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for eighth in the Western Conference. They no longer control their own destiny. Even if the Jazz win out, they would be kept out of the playoffs if the Lakers finish 4-0.
“There are a lot of characteristics that Enes has that he could provide,” Lindsey said. “I do think if we’re fortunate enough to advance, there’s several things we’re going to miss.”
Kanter was enjoying arguably the most productive month of his career when he went down. In March, he averaged career highs of 19.6 minutes per game, time in which he produced 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 58.6 percent from the field.
The Jazz will move forward with a three-man frontcourt of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors, a group certainly easier for coach Tyrone Corbin to manage than when he was trying to divide time in the frontcourt four ways.
“Ty’s already made decisions that each of the three big guys that remain in the rotation will get a little more piece of the action from a rotation standpoint,” Lindsey said.
But finding silver linings isn’t really the Jazz’s style.
“We’re still down a man and a very significant talent,” Lindsey said. “While it may make rotations easier we have one less very good player, so that’s difficult.”
• Jazz center Enes Kanter is unlikely to return to Utah until the offseason after undergoing shoulder surgery Wednesday.
• Kanter averaged a career highs of 10.7 points and 19.7 minutes per game in March before getting injured.
Timberwolves at Jazz
O Friday, 7 p.m.
TV • ROOT
W L GB
6. Golden St. 45 33 12
7. Houston 44 34 13
8. L.A. Lakers 42 37 151/2
9. Utah 41 38 161/2
10. Dallas 38 40 19
Top 8 teams make playoffs