"Dealing with the injury and dealing with the return -- and not being able to play -- was putting too much on. He'd rather recuperate and avoid a lot of the hoopla," said Dwight Manley, Malone's agent.
There had been great anticipation in Utah about Malone's return for Saturday night's game after an 18-year career with the Jazz. The next time the Lakers visit the Jazz is March 8.
"Frankly, I was really curious to see what fan reaction would be," Jazz owner Larry Miller said. "But we're not going to get to
see until March."
Malone also missed the Lakers' first game against the Jazz -- the Lakers won 94-92 in LA on Dec. 7 -- due to a one-game suspension for elbowing.
He has missed 15 games with what the Lakers are is calling a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Manley said the injury is a torn MCL, not a sprain, and will likely keep Malone sidelined until after the All-Star break.
"It's a low tear, not a high tear, so it takes longer to heal," Manley said.
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