Friday, March 23, 2012
Nets' Brook Lopez out two weeks
By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez will miss two more weeks and then be reevaluated, the team announced Friday.
Nets general manager Billy King told reporters in Atlanta that a CT scan revealed a small "line" in Lopez's fractured right foot, which was not previously discovered. The 23-year-old missed the first 32 games of the season and 33 of the first 34 after fracturing the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot during the Nets' final preseason game on Dec. 21 in New York.
"Brook had another CT scan, and in looking at it, the doctors noticed a little line that's healing but hasn't completely healed. So we're going to keep him out for two more weeks and evaluate it then," King said, according to the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
King told reporters that Lopez "has no pain, whatsoever, but it's just -- we're protecting a young fella who's got a long career ahead of him."
Lopez returned from the fractured foot injury on Feb. 19 and played five games. But he sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of the team's March 4 game in Charlotte, and has been out ever since. At the time of that injury, the Nets expected him to miss at least three weeks.
If he stays out exactly two weeks, which brings the team to an April 6 game against Washington, there will be only 10 games remaining in the 66-game regular season. Lopez has been wearing a walking boot lately.
In those five games, Lopez is averaging 19.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27.2 minutes. Prior to 2011-12, he'd never missed a game in the first three seasons of his career.
Lopez will become a restricted free agent at season's end.
The Nets (15-33) have struggled without their best interior scoring threat and will enter Friday night's game in Atlanta with the fourth-worst record in the NBA.
The Nets have been decimated by injuries all season. They've put out an NBA-high 20 different starting lineups, and center Shelden Williams is the only Net to have appeared in the team's first 48 games this season.
Small forwards Damion James, Shawne Williams (traded) and Keith Bogans (waived) were all lost to season-ending injuries.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.