Williams returns to Jazz

Updated: November 16, 2009, 7:10 PM ET
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams plans to play this week after missing two games to be with his family.

Williams returned to practice Monday after missing time as one of his young daughters went through medical tests for an undisclosed condition.

Williams
Williams

Williams said he had no updates on his daughter's health, instead referring to a statement he made last week when he left the team midway through a four-game road trip to return to Utah. But he was happy to be back with the team at practice.

"It's tough when you're home sitting and watching when you should be there," Williams said. "It's just a different feeling."

The Jazz host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday and visit San Antonio on Thursday. Williams said he expects to be back in the lineup.

Williams left the team Friday. He said one of his daughters had a medical procedure Thursday and was going through more testing Friday but asked to keep the matter private.

Utah forward Carlos Boozer said the rest of the Jazz were trying to support Williams any way they could. Boozer has experienced a serious illness involving one of his children, missing training camp two years ago as his son, Carmani, recovered from a risky procedure to cure sickle cell anemia.

"I told him to get the best advice he can and to hang in there. Sometimes as a parent, you can't control what happens and sometimes you feel helpless," Boozer said. "I went through that for two years. Basketball was my refuge."

Williams leads the Jazz in scoring at 24.4 points per game and is averaging 9.9 assists, but Utah managed to go 1-1 without him at the end of the trip.

No. 2 point guard Ronnie Price is also out with a toe injury, leaving the Jazz in the hands of rookie Eric Maynor. Maynor made his first start at Philadelphia and had 13 points and 11 assists as the Jazz beat the 76ers 112-90 on Friday. Maynor started for Williams again Saturday at Cleveland and scored 24 in Utah's 107-103 loss.

Maynor's quick emergence gives the Jazz a little breathing room as they deal with the early-season injuries and Williams' family situation.

"He wasn't nervous, but I kind of sensed that about him. You can just tell the kind of player he is. He doesn't play like a rookie. He doesn't carry himself like a rookie. He has a confidence about himself," Williams said. "Hopefully now my minutes can get cut down because Coach trusts him a little bit more."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE