Hadn't seen this posted yet and since we're news starved during this off season figured this was post worthy. Basically talks about his current rehab and the 2nd page also has a little info on Fess, the part that grabbed my attention is he's lost some weight which could mean he's taken this off season more seriously and is trying to be in better shape.
https://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/50282989-77/okur-jazz-utah-season.html.csp?page=1Brian T. Smith The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Sep 14, 2010 02:28PM
Updated 1 hour ago Updated Sep 14, 2010 01:45PM
By Brian T. Smith
The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor said center Mehmet Okur will be re-evaluated by the team in mid-October.
Okur, who is recovering from left Achilles tendon surgery, has started running drills and recently worked out with teammates in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Okur’s agent, Marc Fleisher, said his client is working hard during his rehabilitation and is pleased with his progress.
“He’s doing everything he can to get back on the court,” Fleisher said.
The 6-foot-11, 263-pound Okur averaged 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Jazz last season, starting 73 out of 82 regular-season games. The 31 year old dealt with a sore Achilles during the latter part of the year, then ruptured it during Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against Denver.
The eighth-year center from Turkey has spent six consecutive seasons with the Jazz. Okur, who is under contract through 2011-12 and is set to make $9.4 million this season, has averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds during his career while playing in 92 percent (604 of 656) of his possible regular-season games.
While a mid-October date looms large for Okur during his rehab, multiple sources said Utah is realistically targeting a December-January return for the center. Okur underwent surgery April 20 to repair a ruptured Achilles.
A league source stated that the Jazz are employing an “Elton Brand” timetable for Okur. Brand, a Philadelphia forward, missed 74 games in 2007-08 for the Los Angeles Clippers while recovering from Achilles surgery.
It has been less than five months since Okur had his surgery, and he is less than two months into his rehab.
Asked if the Jazz expect to enter the 2010-11 season without their starting center, O’Connor would only say that the team will first evaluate Okur’s progress, then make “some decisions.”
O’Connor stressed that Utah will not place a deadline on Okur’s return, adding that the organization has a history of being cautious with injured players.
“When we deal with these things, we never put a timetable on anything,” O’Connor said. “And I know everyone gets a little frustrated with us. But because I don’t want to put pressure on our players, first of all. Secondly, I don’t want people to think that we’re (misleading) them.”
Nevertheless, the Jazz appear to be making initial plans on how to play through the start of the upcoming season without Okur.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported last week that Utah will likely sign veteran center Franciso Elson. The 7-foot, 240-pound Elson is expected to provide front-court depth and average 10-15 minutes of playing time.
O’Connor said he had no comment when asked about the expected addition.
Utah is also involved in ongoing contract negotiations with third-year center Kyrylo Fesenko.
A mixture of NBA and European teams have shown interest in the reserve big man from Ukraine. However, the Jazz remain the most likely option for Fesenko.
Utah has made a one-year, $1 million qualifying offer to Fesenko that has been on the table since July. The possibility also remains that Fesenko and the Jazz could agree to a multiyear deal.
Fesenko, 23, is working out in Utah and has slimmed down from his 300-pound playing weight last season. The 7-foot big man averaged 2.6 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 54.7 percent from the field during the regular season. He then started nine games during the playoffs while filling in for Okur, averaging 3.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 18.1 minutes.
Utah begins the 2010-11 season with an Oct. 27 road matchup against Denver. The Jazz open their preseason schedule with an Oct. 7 home contest versus Portland.
Utah’s training camp, which will be held in Salt Lake City, starts in less than two weeks.
Check the Tribune’s Utah Jazz Notes blog at sltrib.com/Blogs/jazznotes