- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Nets announced Thursday that Lopez would miss the next two games -- Friday night in Orlando and Saturday night in Miami -- due to a right foot sprain. He played in only five games last season due to fractures in the foot, so the team had him checked out thoroughly after the latest injury.
"I was definitely concerned," Lopez told reporters Friday in a video posted on the Nets' official website, "but like I said, once we went through to check it out and evaluate it, we were just thankful it wasn't in the same spot (as the previous injuries)."
Lopez, 24, said he doesn't know how long it's going to take for him to come back. He is averaging 18.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game for the Nets (10-4).
"It already feels a lot better today," he said. "I guess we'll just keep seeing how it gets better each and every day."
Backup center Andray Blatche will start on Friday.
Team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Riley Williams III said in a statement Friday that Lopez has a mid-ligament sprain in his right foot and will be re-evaluated Monday when the team returns to New York.
"The area of Brook's previous fracture at the fifth metatarsal bone was unremarkable, and unchanged compared to prior films," Williams said.
Lopez suffered the injury during the third quarter of Wednesday night's victory over the Boston Celtics. He drove to the basket on Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett, missed a layup and came up limping. He stayed in the game until the next timeout, then returned in the fourth quarter before picking up his fifth foul at the 9:40 mark and sitting the rest of the way.
"He's in good spirits for the most part," Nets coach Avery Johnson said Friday. "Thank god we caught a break where it's nothing serious."
3dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann