After an MRI showed no damage to the ligaments in his knee, Ostertag started Monday's 92-78 victory over the Pistons, but left after just two minutes due to the soreness.
The Jazz believe Ostertag's recent pain is little more than the effects of 10 NBA seasons and will have to be managed day by day, but there is some concern that trying to play with the soreness is making the problem worse.
"The pain he had last night actually was different from the pain he had [Saturday]," said Jazz trainer Gary Briggs. "That could be the result of having to run a little different because of how it feels."
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said Ostertag's absence, even if it's a short one, makes life more difficult for his team, which is short on interior defenders. "You might say you'd like to get help, but what could you get?" Sloan said, pointing out the leaguewide shortage of quality centers. "And we've got 15 guys already. . . . Jarron [Collins] has been playing very well lately, so we would just hope that will continue until Greg can play."
On the rebound
The rebounding prowess of Collins, who snagged 14 boards, Mehmet Okur, who had 12, and Andrei Kirilenko, also 12, wasn't just impressive Monday, it was historic. Not since Jan. 12, 1983 has a trio of Jazz players each collected a dozen rebounds in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Those long-ago rebounders? Mark Eaton (14,) Mitchell J.J. Anderson (13) and Jeff Wilkins (12), who couldn't prevent a Jazz loss anyway, 126-118 in Denver.
The Jazz are the first team to manage the trick this season - they outrebounded Detroit 55-27 on the night - and the first to do it against the Pistons since Feb. 5, 1984, when Boston's Larry Bird (19), Robert Parish (18) and Kevin McHale (13) helped the Celtics win in overtime.
Getting an earful
Deron Williams has sprained his ankle "three or four times pretty bad, this season alone," and didn't miss a game. That's why he felt a little silly, he said, talking about the reason he wasn't in uniform Monday.
He had a condition more often associated with children.
"I can't play with an ear infection?" he taunted himself. "It's kind of embarrassing."
But the infection affects balance and equilibrium, making it difficult for a point guard to run the court.
"I tried at shootaround [Monday morning] and again before the game, but I was just too dizzy to play," said the rookie, who became the 11th Jazz player to sit out a game this season. "The doc said the dizziness should go away today or tomorrow," though he still felt some lingering, though less severe, effects at Tuesday's practice.
Matt Harpring's right knee has recovered so quickly from offseason knee surgery, as of last week he no longer had to abide by restrictions on his minutes or sit out the second night of back-to-back games. But Harpring experienced some swelling in the right knee after Wednesday's 34-minute outing against Atlanta, so his doctors have recommended observing a 35-minute limit for the time being. . . . Gordan Giricek's sore left Achilles' tendon has improved, but he remains doubtful for tonight's game. . . . Tonight's game will be televised by FSN Utah, but will not be available to Comcast cable subscribers living in the Salt Lake Valley.