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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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Marvin Williams to undergo MRI on strained back

Marvin Williams missed practice this morning with a lower back strain. The veteran forward was scheduled to undergo an MRI today to determine his status going forward.

Those results have yet to be released as of about 5 p.m. Thursday [UPDATE: Williams' MRI was rescheduled for Friday morning at 11, meaning his status likely won't be made public until about 90 minutes before tipoff tomorrow], but while we wait it's worth nothing that Williams has had some back issues throughout his career:

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• He missed one game in 2006-07 with back spasms.

• He missed 16 games in the 2008-09 season with a lower back injury.

• On Dec. 29, 2010, he landed on his back after attempting to block a shot (video here) and did not play again until Jan. 26, 2011, missing 11 games over that time.

• In June 2011, Williams had "minor surgery on his lower back to alleviate the pain from a bulging disk" and spent about two months that summer in recovery.

This season, it's been Williams' Achilles' and heel that have slowed him at times.

He's averaging 9.6 pints and 5.2 rebounds in his 54 games with the Jazz this year, and it's worth nothing that the Jazz have yet to win a game this season in which he hasn't played.

As I said, we don't yet know how serious this injury is or how much time — if any — Williams might miss over the last month of the season.

If he does miss any extended time, it seems likely we'll see Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors back together on the court more.

The Jazz's "frontcourt of the future" hasn't exactly panned out just yet, or at least we haven't seen it. To date, the two big men have played together in 39 games for a total of 502 minutes — only the 23rd-most used two-man combo.

And most of that came early. Per NBA.com:

• November: 14 games, 287 minutes. ORtg 87.5; DRtg 113.3.

• December: 6 games, 59 minutes. ORtg 97; DRtg 115.2.

• January: 9 games, 62 minutes. ORtg 111.8; DRtg 110.7.

• February: 2 games, 15 minutes. ORtg 95.6; DRtg 136.1.

• March: 6 games, 48 minutes. ORtg 91.7; DRtg 114.2.

— Aaron Falk


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