- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Nets coach Avery
Johnson isn't concerned about Humphries missing any more time, and expects the 27-year-old to return following the All-Star break for the Feb. 28 game against the Dallas Mavericks.
"I think he did it a couple of games ago, but he's been managing it," Johnson said before the Nets' 108-91 loss to Orlando. "If he's gotta miss a game, that's because he's injured, because he plays with a lot of different ailments."
In 32 games, Humphries is averaging 13.6 points and 10.5 rebounds in 34.6 minutes for the Nets (10-25).
Backup point guard Sundiata Gaines (sore toe) did not participate in Wednesday's shootaround but played 21 minutes.
Lopez made his season debut Sunday night against the Milwaukee Bucks after missing the first 32 games of the season with a broken right foot.
Small forward Shawne Williams had surgery on his left foot Wednesday to remove two small bone fragments. He will miss the rest of the season.
Signed as a free agent before the season, Williams appeared in
25 games, averaging 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20.6 minutes.
Williams is the fourth Nets player to undergo surgery this season, joining Lopez, small forward Damion James (foot) and shooting guard Keith Bogans (ankle/deltoid), who since has been waived by the team.
All of the talk heading into Wednesday's game surrounded Magic center Dwight Howard, who walked out of the Prudential Center in Newark without talking to reporters.
Howard and Nets point guard Deron Williams are extremely close, and it is possible they could end up playing on the same team next season. Both can opt out of the last year of their contracts at the end of this season.
Asked if he had dinner with Howard on Tuesday night, Williams responded: "I don't know? Did I?"
Lopez's name has been mentioned prominently in rumors surrounding Howard, but he said he's been ignoring them all season and is just glad to be back in the lineup.
"I'm not in control of (my future) at all," Lopez said. "Dwight is a great matchup for me and I'm excited to play against him."
The Nets figure they're going to have to deal with questions surrounding Howard until the trade deadline -- if not through the offseason, as well.
"We're gonna have to manage it," Johnson said. "(General manager) Billy (King) and I laugh all the time. Sometime between March 1 and March 15, his phone's going to be blowing up and going crazy all night long. And I just told him I'm glad he has that job. Mine's gonna be off and on silent.
"We're gonna be glad when March 16 rolls around."
And if there isn't a resolution?
"We're glad that at least our name is in the news," Johnson said.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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