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LAS VEGAS — Over the last week, Jazz coach Quin Snyder has joked that the team needs to find a nickname for Rudy Gay to help distinguish him from Rudy Gobert.
With that, read this next sentence carefully.
Rudy Gay is expected to miss the first part of the season as he recovers from offseason surgery.
Following the end of last season, Gay had surgery on his left heel and hasn't yet been cleared for contact. He has gone through portions of practice over Utah's training camp in Las Vegas, and has participated in shooting drills. Of note, the surgery came on the same foot as Gay's Achilles tear occured on in 2017.
The team said Gay is expected to be back early in the regular season. An official timeline, however, is not yet known.
So what does that mean for the Jazz?
Gay is expected to be a major part of the rotation this season. His ability to guard on the perimeter and serve as a small-ball center should allow Snyder to use him in a number of different ways and lineups. With him set to miss time that could open up more time for Eric Paschall, Miye Oni or, if the Jazz want to get creative, rookie guard Jared Butler.
Gay isn't the only veteran who's nursing an injury.
Forward Bojan Bogdanovic also hasn't been cleared for full contact due to mild shoulder soreness. Though his inactivity is more out of caution than anything else. It's believed that if it was the regular season, he would be good enough to play.