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Kobe's torn Achilles tendon draws sympathy from Utah players

Published April 14, 2013 4:56 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Although it might help their chances in the Western Conference playoff race, the Jazz expressed remorse Sunday over the injury that has sidelined the Lakers' Kobe Bryant.

The NBA's No. 4 all-time scorer, Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Friday night's 118-116 win over Golden State. The victory kept L.A. one game ahead of Utah in the battle for the No. 8 seed in the West.

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin was watching the game on TV and saw Bryant fall to the court.

"It's a tough injury," he said. "You never really know what's going to happen. It's just unfortunate for them and unfortunate for him. ... You feel sorry for him."

Bryant played 43 minutes against Golden State before being injured, running his total in a six-game stretch to 271 out of a possible 288.

"At the end of the day," said Jazz center Al Jefferson, "we're all [one] big NBA family. It sucks to see one of the best players go down with that type of injury."

Bryant underwent surgery Saturday and will be sidelined at least six months but probably longer.

"If it's going to happen to anyone, I'm glad it's Kobe because he has that will power and mindset to recover from it," Jefferson said. "But it still sucks to see him go down. ... All you can do now is pray for him and hope for a speedy recovery."

Burks returns

Jazz guard Alec Burks missed two games because of a sprained ankle, but he returned in Friday night's 107-100 win over Minnesota.

In 19 minutes, Burks scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds.

"I don't think it limited me," he said. "I thought once I got going, I was doing good. And it feels good right now. So it's behind me."

With Burks back, the Jazz are expected to be 100 percent in the Monday night's rematch with Minnesota at Target Center.