Bojan Bogdanovic Expects To Play In Jazz Opener

Dec 8, 2020, 2:01 PM
Bojan Bogdanovic shoots over the Denver Nugets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)...
Bojan Bogdanovic shoots over the Denver Nugets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Bojan Bogdanovic expects to play in the Utah Jazz season opener later this month. The forward underwent season-ending wrist surgery in May and was unsure about his availability for opening night before training camp opened.

Nearly a week into group workouts with the team, Bogdanovic said he’s encouraged by the progress he’s felt after surgery.

“I’m feeling way better,” Bogdanovic said. “Actually, I’m kind of surprised. I’m progressing the right way, I’m playing five on five.”

Bogdanovic was the team’s second-leading scorer and a key contributor to the roster before he and team doctors decided to undergo surgery on the wrist he hurt early in the Jazz season.

Despite the progress, Bogdanovic said he’s still working his way back from the injury.

“I can feel that soreness, I’m still waiting to to to fall on the floor pretty hard to see how my hands going to react,” Bogdanovic said. “But overall I’m fine and I’m expecting to play at the start of the season.”

The Jazz open the preseason on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns with no word about Bogdanovic’s availability. The Jazz begin the regular season on December 23 on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Rookies Playing Well

In addition to his own progress, Bogdanovic said the Jazz rookies are playing well. The team selected Udoka Azubuike with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the draft, and Elijah Hughes with the 39th pick in the second round.

“I think that both of them are ready to step in and play some minutes,” Bogdanovic said.

The Croatian sharpshooter was particularly impressed with Azubuike’s performance early in training camp.

“The big guy is pretty athletic, I’m surprised that he’s that good and he was drafted that late in the first round,” Bogdanovic said of the reserve center. “He really goes hard against Rudy [Gobert]. Like I said, I think really that they can help us.”

Conley Back At Practice

Mike Conley was present at practice for the Jazz after missing last week’s group session due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Conley hadn’t tested positive for the virus but was in close contact with a family friend to had, and was forced to remain in quarantine as a result.

The Jazz guard said he had to have seven consecutive negative COVID-19 tests before he could be cleared to return to practice and had hoped to do that by Monday. The Jazz had Monday off from training camp after an extended session on Sunday.

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