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NBA Injury Update: Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks still weeks away

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Good news is still far away

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

According to the intrepid Utah Jazz beat writers, shooting guard Alec Burks is still going to be sitting out games for the Utah Jazz. Burks sustained a fractured left fibula (one of the leg bones) after getting fouled by the Los Angeles Clippers in a game back in December. He was reported to be on track to return after the NBA All-Star break. It is after the NBA All-Star break, but the bench scorer does not appear to be anything other than 'close-ish'. Even head coach Quin Snyder doesn't have a straight answer.

The Jazz announced that Burks would be opting for surgery during the season with the hopes of returning as soon as possible. (As opposed to let more natural healing take place, which takes longer.) Furthermore, the extent of the fracture is unknown to me (there are different types of fractures, as we all know... avulsion, compound, etc). I don't know how long Alec is supposed to be out, or if he has had a set back or not. The only thing I do know is that compared to where he "should" be in his career development, he is severely set back.

Early on in his career he was the Tyrone Corbin whipping boy and dog-house member. The 12th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft was young, cocky, athletic, and came into the NBA with an NBA level skill of driving and getting to the line. He had to sit behind Raja Bell, Randy Foye, and others in order to even get in the game. The 'least dipped' member of the C4 was a bench player for most of his career, in fact the first game he started in the NBA was a point guard.

After Corbin was replaced by Quin Snyder a different set of challenged occurred. Alec got injured and missed all but 27 games last season. This season he has played only 28. The end result is that he's way behind the curve for actual on-court experience for a 5th year NBA player. (Using my ideal of 2,000 minutes per season for a lotto pick.) See for yourself:

2011 2016 Alec Burks career minutes by season

Alec is under-dipped. After one season he had about 50% of the minutes he should have gotten. After his third season he had worked his way up to 72% of where he should be, but was still behind. Right now, thanks to two straight injured abbreviated seasons, he is back down to 59% of where I idealize young players of his potential should be.

Early in his career by a headstrong, but currently unemployed, head coach. And then later on during his "peak" by injuries. It is unfortunate because he needs the minutes, and the Jazz need his scoring ability. Rodney Hood is hot and cold on any given week, but Joe Ingles and Chris Johnson haven't been able to strike the fear into the other team quite like Burks can.

This season Burks is averaging 14.3 ppg while shooting 39% from downtown and getting to the line a team second best 5 times a game. He's not the best transition defender, but he does a lot of things few people on this roster can.

Possibly not worse than Foye anymore?

The expectation was for Alec to return somewhat soon after the All-Star Break. Now we're hoping he returns at all sometime this month.

Get well soon Alec. This team needs you. Also, you have a lot of minutes to make up if you are going to get close to 12,000 career minutes by the end of your 6th NBA season. (For those keeping score at home, Gordon Hayward is at 13k already, and Derrick Favors at 10.6k already with 20 games to go in their 6th seasons.)

Here's to hoping we see you sometime after this weekend? I know your fans have been licking their lips in anticipation for weeks now.