SALT LAKE CITY -- Mo Williams had a walking boot on his right foot and spoke in subdued tones following the Jazz's victory over the Sacramento Kings last Friday night.
Clearly, he wasn't happy.
A few feet away, teammate Earl Watson quietly dressed in front of his locker.
Clearly, he was anxious.
In a fortuitous bit of timing, Watson was finally cleared to begin playing on the same night Williams went down with a first-quarter foot injury. And while he wishes the best for his teammate, Watson welcomes any chance for more playing time.
"Just to be out there is a big step for me," said Watson, who scored six points and had five assists in 17 minutes during Saturday's loss at Sacramento.
"I want to continue to build on it and just focus on the moment I have and the opportunity to take advantage of it."
The Jazz split their weekend series with the Kings, winning 104-102 at home on Friday, but falling 108-97 on the road Saturday.
Utah will return to action tonight when the Denver Nuggets pay a visit to EnergySolutions Arena.
The Jazz lost at Denver, 104-84 on Nov. 9.
Mo Williams missed Saturday's game and his status for tonight's game isn't yet known. Initially, he was thought to have sprained his ankle but the injury report the team issued Saturday said he had a mid-foot sprain.
Veteran Jamaal Tinsley started in his place at Sacramento and would likely start tonight's game as well.
Watson, who would become the backup point guard, said he is ready to play extended minutes.
He went from nine minutes Friday to 17 on Saturday.
"It's not my call not to play extended minutes," Watson said Friday. "I don't know who it's coming from. I was told my minutes would be 10 minutes but as far as physically, I feel like I can play more."
Watson saw his playing time increased during Saturday's loss and if he continues to make progress in the eyes of Utah's athletic training staff he could see more tonight.
The 33-year-old underwent season-ending knee surgery in April. He worked throughout the summer, in training camp and through the preseason determined to get back on the the floor as soon as possible.
After graduating to playing full practices, he recently was cleared to being playing in games.
He went 0-for-2 from the field in his first game back but did record two rebounds and two assists.
All that practice, Watson said, has kept him in good shape. Perhaps not game shape, but close enough in his eyes.
"I've been work as hard as you can work, I'm not sure there's anyone who worked as hard as me," he said. "I'm prepared for whatever minutes I get. Extended, minimum, whatever."
Watson said the team's medical staff is concerned about swelling in his right knee, but that needn't be a concern.
"I haven't had swelling in over two months," he said.