- Associated Press - Friday, December 17, 2010

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Utah’s Mehmet Okur is playing for the first time since rupturing his left Achilles’ tendon last season.

The 6-foot-11 forward came off the bench during the first half of Utah’s game against the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

Okur was bothered by tendinitis late last season before the rupture occurred during the playoffs against Denver last April.

He missed the remainder of the playoffs as well as the first 26 games this season.

Last season, Okur started 73 games, averaging 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds.