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Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Andrei Kirilenko returns for Nets

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko returned to the lineup Tuesday night against the San Antonio Spurs.

Coach Jason Kidd told reporters in San Antonio before the game he expected Kirilenko to play 10 to 12 minutes.

Kirilenko has missed the last 25 games due to back spasms -- 26 overall on the season. He has not played since Nov. 8.

While trying to return, Kirilenko had three setbacks and received two epidurals.

Kirilenko's return will provide a boost for the Nets (10-20), given his versatility and ability to defend all five positions.

Kirilenko, 32, averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in the four games he's played this season.

Reserve Tyshawn Taylor is out with a mild strain of his right hamstring.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.