PHOENIX — Let the six-week countdown begin.
Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams' surgery to repair damage in his injured right thumb went "according to plan" Friday morning in New York City, the team confirmed.
"Not all surgeries are successful," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "I'm glad they said his was successful."
Corbin was also glad to hear back from his veteran playmaker, who reinjured his thumb in Miami on Dec. 22 and will be out until at least Feb. 23. They exchanged texts in the hours after Williams had damage repaired by a hand specialist in the Big Apple.
"He was kind of loopy," Corbin said, laughing, while talking about the texts they exchanged. "In the text, he said he slept very well. He slept like a baby. (Trainer Gary Briggs) spoke to him and said he's doing well and he's happy it's over."
Williams will remain in New York over the weekend until swelling in his hand subsides enough so he can be fitted with a specialized splint.
After that, he will return to Utah to begin rehab, which will include conditioning and restricted weightlifting. Corbin said Williams will eventually travel with the team, although that might not start happening until after next week's three-game road trip.
Williams' surgery was done by hand specialist Dr. Michelle Carlson, who did a similar procedure on his right thumb in the 2008 offseason.
Williams sounded positive in post-surgery tweets.
Williams also posted a photo of himself on his hospital bed on Instagram and Twitter with this post: "Right after surgery. Just waking up. I asked the nurse what time is it? She said 2:00. The surgery was at 8."
Added Williams: "The nurses was giving me a hard time saying I was the easiest patient ever. Said all I did was sleep."
The Jazz will continue to start Jamaal Tinsley, with Earl Watson in a backup role, in Williams' absence. Alec Burks also played a stint at point guard Friday night.
The team has a maxed-out roster of 15, including exiled Raja Bell and D-League assignee Kevin Murphy, so a player would need to be waived or a trade made in order to bring another point guard into the mix.
TRAINING ROOM TRICK? Enes Kanter sat out Friday's game because of the sprained right ankle he suffered Wednesday night against Minnesota.
As such, it was no surprise to see him soaking his foot in a tub before tipoff.
The contents of his bucket were surprising.
The big plastic tub contained some ice, some cold water and some soggy popcorn.
A smiling Kanter's explanation: Tinsley supposedly told him popcorn has special healing powers.
Tinsley joked back that Kanter acts like he was born in a barn. It was natural to put some corn in that particular trough, right?
Al Jefferson shook his head when asked if he'd seen the popcorn floating in Kanter's ice bucket.
"With the popcorn, what does it do, help take the soreness out?" Jefferson asked. "That's new to me. Learn something new every year, I guess."
Kanter, by the way, is day-to-day and remains uncertain for tonight's game in Denver.
BIG AL B-DAY: Sure sign Big Al is getting older? He was pretty ho-hum when talking about his birthday.
As he explained, this was Jefferson's 28th birthday: "I do the same thing I do every game day — get up, go to shootaround, eat, get some sleep, wake up, eat again, come to the game."
He also played and flew to Denver.
The Jazz don’t have a rookie with them — Murphy is with Reno in the D-League — so Jefferson didn't even get Happy Birthday sung to him.
"I kind of gave everybody a break this year," Jefferson said. "We needed this win."
Big Al said he might make Kanter sing — and dance — for him when his sprained ankle gets better.
"Last year, I sung for him," second-year guard Alec Burks said. "I don't know about this year. We'll see."
Jefferson gave Paul Millsap grief for not treating him right on his birthday. So what did the power forward do for his buddy?
"Nothing," he said, smiling. "I didn't even know it was his birthday."
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