Frank Jackson’s fractured foot has essentially kept him out of action since last May, save for a few pre-draft workouts. So he’s had a lot of time to lift weights, work on his game and reflect on a career that’s yet to get started.

When he does, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie and former Lone Peak star always comes back to a single word: appreciation.

Basketball’s been a part of Jackson’s life for as long as he can remember. And for most of that time, Jackson thought he was physically invincible, like most teenagers. But a foot fracture can put a dent in those kind of thoughts, and it’s done just that for the combination guard.

“It’s been hard, but I do appreciate what I have a lot more,” Jackson said. “It’s good that I’m getting a chance to travel and see what the travel routine is. I have a lot of great veterans here and those guys are helping me a lot.”

Jackson’s still a ways away from making his NBA debut. He says he’s eyeing a January return to the court and just trying to let his foot heal 100 percent. His return to Utah on Friday night was a memorable one. He caught up with his former AAU coach Tim Davis. He greeted well-wishers and generally tried to enjoy being back in Utah for the first time as a pro.

The good news for Jackson is he’s able to get on the floor and get some skill work in and he worked up a sweat doing so before Friday night’s game. Even if he’s not able to play, he’s learning the NBA life, which he says is invaluable.

“We’re excited about him,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. “He’s a guy who has a lot of athleticism and upside. We think he’s going to be able to help us.”

Another homecoming

Former Utah Jazz guard Ian Clark made another return to Vivint Smart Home Arena on Friday. He played six minutes in the first half and recorded an assist without attempting a shot.

“Ian is someone that we’re going to need,” Gentry said. “I think he may be disappointed that he hasn’t played as much as he thought he was going to play. But he’s a great shooter and has championship experience.”

Tired legs?

The Jazz shot 36 percent in the first half against New Orleans, including 6 of 18 from 3-point range. That led to the Pelicans closing the first half on a 17-2 run.