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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Nets' Brook Lopez out vs. Knicks

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez did not play Tuesday night against the New York Knicks.

Nets general manager Billy King said Lopez likely wouldn't play Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors, either, because of his mild right foot sprain.

"We don't want to rush him," King said. "We want him to be 100 percent confident when he goes on the court."

Lopez, 24, has missed the past five games. He practiced in a 5-on-5 Monday, but isn't comfortable enough to play in a game yet, King said.

Lopez will come in and work out with some of the reserves Thursday. If that goes well, they could get him back either Friday night against the Detroit Pistons or Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls. If not, then they'd look to next week.

"There's nothing wrong with his foot MRI-wise," King said, adding that Lopez hasn't had a setback. "It's just him getting ready to play in an NBA game.

"It's a long season and we want to get him back where he's the best to play."

Lopez has been out since initially suffering the injury Nov. 28. He underwent a battery of tests -- including a precautionary MRI -- that showed the injury was unrelated to the two right foot fractures he suffered last season.

Nets coach Avery Johnson has admitted that Lopez has taken longer to recover than the team initially expected.

Lopez, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension in the offseason, is averaging 18.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

The Nets once again will start Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans up front against the Knicks.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.