All Nets

Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.

Brook Lopez practices slightly, still awaiting contact drills

Brook Lopez reacts after causing an offensive foul

Brook Lopez reacts after causing an offensive foul in the second half of a game against the Knicks at Barclays Center. (Nov. 26, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Brook Lopez got some work in during Saturday’s practice.

However, it wasn’t a whole lot and chances are that Lopez won’t be available for at least the Nets’ next three games. Lopez, working his way back from a ligament sprain at the top of his right foot, has already been ruled out for Sunday’s tilt with the Bucks at the Barclays Center.

“He just did a little light running, did some agility work, took some shots,” coach Avery Johnson said after practice at the arena. “But he didn’t participate in any of the major parts of practice. No contact or anything like that. When we were running plays, he wasn’t out there.

“But he did some warming up with the guys, did some shooting, did some agility work. He was pain free, went back into the weight room and did some work. But he’s just not quite ready to practice yet.”

Johnson said it’s not simply a matter of being conservative with Lopez, who’s had three injuries to that same foot in less than 12 months. Sunday's game will mark the fifth straight game he's sat out.

“He’s just not ready,” Johnson said. “He’s just not ready and it’s not necessarily just being conservative with him. He’s just not ready yet. So once he’s ready to practice, then the next step will be hoping that he’s ready to get in a game.”

Johnson didn’t say what the target return for Lopez, but if he wants to see the 7-footer practice and recover first, there’s a distinct possibility he won’t be able to go in a game until at least 10 days from now. The Nets have a pair of back-to-backs this upcoming week and likely will only practice once – Monday – before the weekend.

Either way, don’t expect the Nets to be rushing Lopez back.

“It’s practice and recovery,” Johnson said. “You can’t just stick a guy that’s had a foot situation in a game and he hasn’t practiced. It makes no sense. So he’s got to be able to practice and then recover well. We’ll see how he recovers and whenever that is – if it’s Tuesday – whenever that is, that’s kind of the plan.

“It is still day-to-day,” he added, “but the next thing for him to do is come in tomorrow and work. See where he is for practice on Monday and then see how he responds.”

Tags: Brook Lopez , Avery Johnson , Brooklyn Nets , Barclays Center , Bucks

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