Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
For those fantasy owners who have shown patience with injured Utah power forward Carlos Boozer, we finally have our reward.
The former Duke star, who averaged 21.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.9 apg and 1.2 spg in 2007 had been sidelined since November 19th following successful left knee surgery to clean out the joint and a quadriceps injury.
So we waited.
They said he would be ready around the All-Star break, but we know from past injuries that with Boozer you have to see him on the court before you believe he will actually return.
In the meantime, Paul Millsap was filling in admirably for Boozer in both the real world and our fantasy world. Millsap averaged 18.6 ppg and 11.5 rpg during December and 16.3 ppg and 10.6 rpg in January.
The All-Star game came and went and in the first game after the break against Memphis, Boozer was still not on the court.
So we continued to wait.
However, a week later on February 23rd, Boozer returned to action, although he was nowhere near fantasy-worthy. In 21 minutes, he scored two points, grabbed five rebounds and collected two assists. But he was on the court. In the next three games, Coach Jerry Sloan kept Boozer's minutes to around 20 making it impossible to start him.
Finally, last Wednesday, Sloan allowed Boozer to play a full game and he rewarded the Jazz with a 20-point, 17-rebound outing. Apparently, his knee held up well because Boozer came back on Friday night and played 35 minutes in a tough 97-91 win over the Denver Nuggets. Although Boozer didn't have a great scoring night, just nine points, he did contribute 16 rebounds and two steals.
It's seems like it's now safe to install Boozer back into your fantasy lineup and hope he stays healthy for the final five week (20 games) finishing stretch.