Last night, starting center Mehmet Okur suffered a left Achilles injury while driving to the basket during the first half of Game 1 of the first round series against the Denver Nuggets.
Today, after an MRI, Utah Jazz General Manager, Kevin O’ Connor confirmed the injury, and stated that it will unfortunately bring his season to a premature end.
Head Coach Jerry Sloan hasn’t made any announcements regarding who will start in place of Okur. It appears as if it will be Paul Milsap, which will leave the team with an extremely undersized frontcourt and even thinner bench.
Okur has had lingering issues with his Achilles. In fact, he took a painkilling shot prior to tipoff. Now that he has completely torn it, he will be required to undergo surgery and it will take him an estimated 3-6 months for a full recovery to occur.
Ultimately this may close the books on any chance of the Jazz getting past the first round, let alone going to the Finals.
Doing so would be a marvelous feat considering they would have to battle through dominant centers such as Nene, Bynum, and Camby.
This is a disappointing loss for a team that had so much promise going into the postseason.
Luckily for them though, they hold the New York Knicks’ lottery pick in the upcoming draft, and could address their frontcourt depth need with it.
Finally, on a side note, this will cause Okur to miss the world championships in his native country, Turkey.
Hopefully, moving forward into next season and beyond, Okur will rebound from the injury and go back to his impressive high level of play.