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Giricek progressing slowly

Published March 8, 2006 2:20 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gordan Giricek has not worn a Jazz uniform for more than five weeks, and it appears he will need at least another couple of weeks before he can play again.

Giricek said Sunday that he is still experiencing swelling in his left calf, and an MRI taken a day later confirmed that the injury to his Achilles' tendon has not completely healed.

"To me, there is still soreness that has not gone away," Giricek said of the leg injury, which bothered him for nearly two months before the team decided to shut him down completely a month ago and allow the tendinitis to heal. "I can't say how much better it is."

The MRI showed improvement, the Jazz announced Tuesday. Giricek, still wearing a corrective boot to keep his calf immobile, will increase his rehab program, the team said. But there is no timetable yet for a possible return to action.

Giricek started 36 games, and was averaging 10.6 points per game when he was injured.

More injury news

The injury news wasn't much better for the rest of the Jazz on Tuesday, though Greg Ostertag's ankle injury, suffered when he landed on a Magic player's foot during the second quarter of Monday's game, doesn't appear to be serious. Ostertag will test the foot at shootaround, in hopes of playing tonight against the Timberwolves (7 p.m., KJZZ).

Robert Whaley is not likely to play, however, as he recovers from back spasms that began bothering him after Sunday's game in Seattle. Whaley, whose appearance against the Sonics was his first action since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee five weeks earlier, is still sore and is considered doubtful.

C.J. Miles will also test his sore right foot today, in hopes of being able to suit up against Minnesota.

Miles has not dressed for the past two games.

Andre Owens is still walking with crutches after surgery two weeks ago to insert a rod to support his fractured left tibia. But the stitches in his leg have been removed, allowing him to begin riding a stationary bike and do other conditioning exercises.

Refs ripped

The NBA announced no fines Tuesday, but Magic coach Brian Hill seems likely to be sanctioned for his criticism of the officials after the Jazz's 90-85 win on Monday. In fact, the coach said he expects it.

"I don't care if they fine me $50,000," Hill told the Orlando Sentinel. "We deserve to win that game. If the players are left to decide the outcome, we would have won it."

Hill was enraged that two instances of contact between Andrei Kirilenko and DeShawn Stevenson in the final 20 seconds was officiated in Kirilenko's favor both times.

With the game tied and 18.4 seconds to play, Stevenson bumped the Jazz forward away from the ball and was whistled for a foul that provided the game-winning points.

On the Magic's final possession, Stevenson faked a shot and drew contact with Kirilenko again, but this time there was no call. "DeShawn was hammered on the play," Hill said. "Let the game be decided by the players, not poor officiating."

pmiller@sltrib.com