Jazz regroup after update on Mo Williams’ injury
By Bill Oram
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Jan 02 2013 07:22PM
Jeremy Evans lifted his fingers out of his bucket of popcorn and shot a glance across the Jazz locker room at Alec Burks.
Evans wanted to see if Burks heard what he just had, when he caught the critical words of a discussion Jamaal Tinsley was having with a reporter.
"... a setback we have in our point guard out for six to eight weeks ..." Tinsley had said.
News that point guard Mo Williams required surgery on his right thumb and would be unable to play for approximately six weeks while wearing a splint had just entered the Jazz locker room and not yet reached all of its tenants.
Al Jefferson swore loudly when told of the news. Tinsley said he was texting Williams for more information.
"I figured because I didn’t get no texts from him everything was all right," Jefferson said glumly.
Whether the Jazz are prepared or not, their season will continue as scheduled, just without the veteran point guard who averages 12.9 points and 6.7 assists in 31.4 minutes per game.
"You got to be dialed into everything now," Tinsley said. "We don’t have no superstar on this team. I think now we’ve got to be on the same page from the tipoff and we can’t have no letdown and play in spurts, because one of our main guys is down."
Williams was officially listed with a "severely sprained right thumb" after Dec. 22 at Miami when he reached in to defend a Mario Chalmers drive. At the time, he said it felt just like when he tore a ligament in his thumb in 2008.
On Tuesday night, Williams took a red-eye flight to New York to consult with the hand specialist who performed his surgery in 2008. Michelle Carlson performed an MRI, determining that Williams once again required surgery.
"He’s disappointed in the fact he has to have surgery," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He thought he was feeling better and he would be able to come back soon, but it was the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do for him. His doctors advised him, and we agreed."
The 34-year-old Tinsley will continue to start in place of Williams, and has been effective in spot starts. The Jazz are 4-4 in games Tinsley has started.
However, conventional wisdom says the Jazz could be active in the trade market for a point guard. General manager Dennis Lindsey declined comment on the team’s plans at the position until the Jazz have a better sense of the long-term prognosis.
"This just really sucks for Mo," Jefferson said, "because this is an important year for him and he’s already been down that road with that same surgery. I know this is not something he wanted to hear. But it will work out for him."