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Caris LeVert could return to Nets before All-Star break, source confirms

Caris LeVert of the Nets drives against Chris

Caris LeVert of the Nets drives against Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets during the first half at Barclays Center on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Emerging Nets star Caris LeVert, who has been out since suffering a dislocated right ankle on Nov. 12, is set to return to practice Tuesday and could play before the All-Star break.

Coach Kenny Atkinson said before Monday night’s game against the Bucks that LeVert and Allen Crabbe will scrimmage with the G League’s Long Island Nets on Tuesday.

Crabbe has been out since Dec. 12 with a knee injury.

“I think that’s to be determined — if they can be ready before the All-Star break,” Atkinson said. “I do think one of the strengths of our development program is we can simulate gamelike conditions. Obviously, the G League, being able to scrimmage full-out, those guys are not going to back down. It’s a great kind of live experience for them. We can repeat that. We’ll evaluate them after the practice and going forward and make a decision collectively.”

The Nets began a three-game homestand against the Bucks on Monday that will continue against the Nuggets on Wednesday and the Bulls on Friday. The Nets play Feb. 11 at Toronto and Feb. 13 at Cleveland before the break.

It’s highly doubtful that LeVert would return to action Wednesday after only one G League practice. But that would leave three more games before the break, and his return could happen at any time in that span.

LeVert’s original injury was diagnosed as a subtalar dislocation. It looked gruesome, but he didn’t require surgery. At the time of his injury, he led the Nets with an 18.4 scoring average.

Monday’s 113-94 loss to the Bucks was the Nets’ fourth defeat in six games since Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a thumb injury on Jan. 23 that required surgery, so LeVert’s return would come at an opportune time.

“This is good timing,” Atkinson said. “I’m excited.”

With Greg Logan

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