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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Interview — Jazz's Watson wants to return but can't risk further injury

Excerpts from an interview Tuesday with Jazz guard Earl Watson following shootaround at EnergySolutions Arena.

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Watson on the status of his sprained left ankle and whether he expects to play against Oklahoma City: It's tough to really gauge it. I did a lot before the Laker game. I felt good. Then I did a lot yesterday and I felt good. But it's more or less the next [day's pain] if I was to play and that setback. I don't want to bring it back. I'm going to go before the game, get a good workout and see how I feel. I think I can play anyway — I always feel like I can play. But I've got to be smart. … Same ankle as before, so I have to be smart about it. Our team is playing well, so it's not like a rush for me to get back. Jamaal's playing well, everyone's playing well. But then during the game, it's like the competitive spirits come out and I just want to play, you know what I mean? It looks fun. It's like the kid [staring] at the birthday cake who's allergic to cake. He can't eat it. It sucks. [Laughs]

Smarter to sit out against Thunder: I don't know. Our shootarounds are light, so before the game I'm going to go really, really hard and see what happens. Whatever happens, I'll be ready for whatever. … Sacramento or even Denver, that'd be great. We'll see what happens. A big game like this, who wouldn't want to play?

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz

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