Hayward yet to take a shot since shoulder injury

Jazzman Gordon Hayward said Monday morning he hasn’t lifted up a shot since spraining his right shoulder during Utah’s Jan. 26 overtime victory over Indiana.

Speaking after the Jazz’s shootaround at EnergySolutions Arena, Hayward said he is still waiting for clearance to begin practicing again.

“I have not shot,” he said. “I’ve been anxious, itching to. But …”

Hayward has missed four straight games and has been officially listed as “doubtful” for Monday’s game vs. Sacramento.

Asked about his status, Hayward said, “It’s not looking like it.”

Hayward sprained his right shoulder during the overtime period of Utah’s 114-110 home victory over the Pacers. He was fighting through a screen set by Indiana’s David West and took a shot to the shoulder.

Hayward said later he felt lightheaded after coming to the bench during a timeout and did not return to the game. He left the arena that night with his shoulder in a sling.

As he left the arena Monday, he said he was wearing a pain patch on his shoulder.

“It’s getting better,” he said. “Slowly but surely it’s coming along.”

The 22-year-old said the drawn-out process of returning to the court is “frustrating.”

“This is probably the most games I’ve ever missed, like in my whole basketball career,” he said. “I mean, it sucks being out but you’ve got to be smart about it and make sure it’s right before you come back.”

For tonight’s game against Sacramento, the are Jazz expected to have just 11 of their 15 players available.

In addition to Hayward, they likely will go without point guard Mo Williams (right thumb surgery) and Earl Watson (lower right leg bone bruise, stress fracture).

Guard Raja Bell hasn’t been with the team this season but remains on the roster.

The Jazz are 2-2 since Hayward’s injury and it’s clear they miss the spark he provides coming off the bench.

With Mo Williams and Watson out, the Jazz are lacking in wing players.

Last week Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he’d like to see Hayward go through a full practice session before putting him back on the floor. On Monday, Hayward said he still has yet to put up a jumpshot since the injury.

“I still haven’t really shot the ball,” he said. “I’ve still got to work so I can do that and go from there. ”

Hayward said he comes to the arena to get treatment on his shoulder, then returns home wearing a patch on his shoulder, then returns to the arena for more treatment during the game.

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About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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