SALT LAKE CITY -- In a word, ouch.
That seems to sum up Jazz rookie Trey Burke's broken finger on two fronts. Ouch for the man himself, who will undergo surgery today and could be out two months or more. And ouch for the reconfigured Jazz, who were banking on Burke to undergo some serious on-the-job training this season.
Now with their point guard of the future sitting on the shelf they're formulating a plan to find their point guard of the present.
"This is new for Trey, he's never been injured before, period. He's never had a surgery," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said Monday. "That experience will be a first and we'll have to appropriately support him."
Lindsey would not put a timeline on Burke's return. The surgery will take place today in Salt Lake City.
The 20-year-old former University of Michigan star and ninth pick in the 2013 NBA draft was in obvious pain after jamming his right index finger during the first quarter of Saturday's preseason loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
He sustained the injury with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the quarter after making a pass and banging the digit on L.A. point guard Chris Paul.Burke reacted immediately, hopping up and down while holding his right hand for a second or two before holding it out get a look the damage.
After being taken to the locker room to have the finger splinted, Burke convinced team personnel he could continue playing. He returned briefly before halftime but later said the pain was too severe to continue. X-rays taken at EnergySolutions Arena revealed a fracture.
Burke met with reporters after the game, holding his hand up near his chest to keep it elevated. He said the pain was significant and admitted it "wasn't a smart decision" to return to action.
"Obviously I've never dealt with an injury like this so it's kind of new to me," Burke said. "I'm just trying to stay as positive as possible."
Burke started all three preseason games in which he played, averaging seven points and four assists per contest. He was 9-for-30 from the field, including a 1-for-6 effort before his early exit on Saturday.
Prior to Monday's practice session, Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin called Burke's injury "unfortunate."
"Unfortunate that it would happen now in training camp when he was learning a new game and a way to play it," he said. "He was making great strides in it."
"We're going to miss him," Corbin added. "But we can do some things with him to keep him up to speed."
If there is a positive to come from the injury it's that Burke can sit on the bench and see the Jazz's offense from a distance. While it's not much of a positive, Burke said the concept worked during summer league play. After shooting just 24 percent from the field in the Orlando Summer League, Burke was given a day off so he could watch the action unfold from the bench.
"I watched it (and saw) what I could have done better," he said.
Teammate John Lucas III has been Burke's chief mentor on the bench, the court and in the locker room.
Lucas, who at least for the time being figures to be Utah's starting point guard, said he'll continue to work closely with his young protege.
"We sit next to each other in the locker room and we're always talking, not just about basketball but about everything else," Lucas said. "He always comes to me after the game and says, 'Did you see so-and-so do that?' I'm like, 'Well, why did he do it?' You can tell that he wants to learn, he wants to get better."
Lindsey said the Jazz are exploring their options regarding their point guard position in Burke's absence. He said it's unlikely the team will bring second-round draft pick Raul Neto over from Spain, where he is under contract with Lagun Aro GBC of Liga ACB.
The Jazz may have some interest in veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley, 35, who spent the past two seasons with the Jazz.
* JAZZ NOTES: Gordon Hayward (bruised right arch) did not practice on Monday but team officials say he is expected to play on Wednesday when the Jazz host the Portland Trail Blazers for a preseason game. ... The team on Monday waived big man Dwayne Jones. Their roster now stands at 19.
Contact reporter Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.