AK47's Absence from the Utah Jazz Could Be Significant

Luke WashingtonContributor IFebruary 3, 2009

Andrei Kirilenko's absence from the Utah Jazz will hurt a team that is already struggling with injuries.

The forward had surgery last week to remove a bone fragment in his ankle and it is not known when he will return; he missed four games in late January because of the injury.

Already playing without Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams, the Jazz now will have to do without Kirilenko, who brings shot-blocking ability and strong defense, which is crucial at this turning point of the season.

When AK47 comes back healthy, the Jazz could make a run to get into the playoffs. But perhaps the Jazz should make a run for another player on the market at the trade deadline to make the postseason a reality.