Derrick Favors' new reserve role didn't last very long. Hours after it was announced that Paul Millsap would replace him in the starting lineup, the second-year big man was reinserted back into the first five for Friday's home opener. This time, though, he was the Jazz's starting center. An injury to Al Jefferson forced Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin to make the late change. Big Al was scratched from the game an hour before tipoff because of an inflamed right ankle. Jefferson's ankle started swelling up Thursday. The injury, he explained, dates back to 2006 when he had surgery for a bone bruise, leading to him getting painful arthritis in the joint. Jefferson stopped taking medicine for it after his knee surgery in 2008, and it finally caught up with him. He's back on the meds, and is beginning to feel better — just not good enough to go Friday. "I don't miss games if I can help it," Jefferson said. "I hate missing games. … I couldn't run without a limp (so) that was pointless to go out there, hurt my team by not being 100 percent."
Derrick Favors ends up starting thanks to Al Jefferson's ankle trouble
The Deseret News | Dec 31