- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Williams has missed the last two practices due to inflammation in his left ankle, or what the Nets are calling left ankle synovitis. He received a cortisone shot on Thursday to ease the pain and will return to practice on Sunday. It's something he's going have to manage all season.
The point guard told reporters that he's been dealing with the injury since the Olympics.
"It started hurting in the Olympics. I was hurting really bad in the Olympics, it swelled up pretty good during the Olympics, so I had to get on some anti-inflammatories," Williams said in a video posted on the team's official website.
"We've been trying to strengthen it and do things to get it loose, but just throughout the course of a game it never gets loose. I thought it was just from old age.
"I couldn't jump off my left leg. I can't even dunk off one leg, so I went in and got an MRI and it showed the inflammation."
Williams, who should get his explosiveness back, doesn't expect the inflammation to be a problem going forward. He hopes the cortisone shot will get him through the entire season, though he doesn't know if he'll need more than one because he's never gotten a cortisone shot before.
"It feels night and day from what it was, because just walking down the street it would ache," he said.
Nets coach Avery Johnson said the team doesn't anticipate that Williams will have any setbacks.
The Nets open up their first regular season in Brooklyn at the $1 billion Barclays Center against the rival New York Knicks on Thursday.
Williams, the only player in the NBA to average more than 20 points and eight assists per game last season, signed a five-year, $98 million contract with the Nets in the offseason.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.