SALT LAKE CITY - Even when he's in pain, Jazzman Enes Kanter likes to laugh.
The 20-year-old backup center suffered a grotesque shoulder separation during Wednesday's victory over Phoenix, but shortly after the game was over he was joking with reporters in the locker room.
When asked if his many female fans were willing to care for him, Kanter flashed a big smile and said, "Oh, I've already heard from some of them."
Teammates all around him rolled their eyes, but the big man kept on going.
Wearing a shoulder sling and a T-shirt under a fashionable jacket, Kanter flashed another grin and said, "I still look good though, don't I?"
Although sometimes a bit silly in the locker room, Kanter - all 6-foot-11, 248 pounds of him - has made himself into a serious player in his second season in the league.
Early in the second quarter he made a hustling play, hurling himself to the floor for a loose ball. Phoenix center Hamed Haddadi fell on top of Kanter, landing on his shoulder.
Kanter stayed on the floor, clearly in pain, but it wasn't until he got to his feet that the extent of his injury was seen.
His left shoulder had come out of joint.
"It was pretty gross," teammate Randy Foye said.
Kanter did not return to Wednesday's game, nor did he practice on Thursday. Instead he had an MRI test, which confirmed the shoulder separation. He did not make the trip to Portland, Ore. for tonight's game with the Trail Blazers.
The team sent out a press released Thursday evening, indicating Kanter will remain out "indefinitely."
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said Kanter is a tireless worker, so much so that team officials are going to have to keep an eye on him.
"Some of that could work against him," Corbin said. "Because, if (the injury) needs time to heal and he feels better, he'll do more than he needs to do. He'll want to get back and he'll want to lift weights because he's into his body. We've got to make sure he's doing the right thing."
Like Foye, Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward used the word "gross" to describe Kanter's injury.
Hayward said seeing a teammate suffer that kind of an injury left the Jazz shaken, but they regained their composure and put the Suns away with a 17-2 run in the fourth quarter.
"I think it's (shocking) a little (for) both teams," he said. "You saw guys on both teams looking at their shoulders and shaking (them) to make sure they still work. It's part of the game, you realize that stuff happens. It definitely wasn't intentional by anyone."
Before Thursday's practice, Jazz center Al Jefferson said Kanter's easy-going personality will help him recover.
"He's got a positive attitude," he said. "Last night until this morning, inside of being in a little pain, he's still got a positive attitude. He's still smiling and being who he is. That says a lot about a person."
Following losses by the Lakers and Mavericks on Thursday, the Jazz (36-36) now are a 1/2 game behind L.A. (37-36) for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference playoff race. Dallas (35-37) sits 10th place, 1 1/2 games behind the Lakers.
The Jazz own tie-breakers over the L.A. and Dallas.
With 10 games left in the regular season, Utah plays six times at home and four on the road.