Kirilenko’s time in Utah could be winding down

Andrei Kirilenko knows his Utah Jazz career could be winding


The 30-year-old Kirilenko, the longest tenured Jazz player, is

in the final year of a six-year contract extension and becomes a

free agent after the season.

Though he has indicated he wants to return, how much the

rebuilding Jazz are willing to pay him will be an issue. He was to

make $17.5 million this season, his 10th with Utah.

Kirilenko missed his third straight game Monday night and

remains on crutches because of bruising to a nerve in his left


”Again, as soon as I feel good, I’m going to get back,” said

Kirilenko, who is averaging 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists,

1.3 steals, 1.2 blocks and 31.2 minutes this season. ”I’m going to

be smart definitely, but as … long as I can feel and move and

run, I’m back.”

Utah lost to Washington in overtime Monday night and fell to


In what will go down as one of the strangest seasons in Jazz

history, Kirilenko’s injury ranks right up there.

He injured it Wednesday against Oklahoma City when he banged his

knee during a screen, not on the next play when he fell down after

making a steal. Kirilenko said it’s almost the same feeling as

hitting a funny bone in his elbow, only constant.

”It’s a little bit funny pain, which is not fun,” he said of

the numbness. ”It’s kind of like paralyzing a little bit but it’s

getting better now.”

Until Monday he wasn’t even able to receive electrical

stimulation to treat it because it was so inflamed. He expects to

start working out again Tuesday.

”It’s difficult for him,” Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. ”I know

he wants to play and injuries you can’t control. Until the nerve

gets better, he can’t play.”