EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Looks like the Bulls won’t be the only team in this series who have a star player dealing with plantar fasciitis.
Joe Johnson has apparently developed the same thing in his left foot that’s hobbled Joakim Noah in the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, and the Nets are listing their starting shooting guard as a game-time decision for Thursday’s Game 3 at the United Center in Chicago.
“I’m all right,” Johnson said before the Nets hit the court for practice Wednesday at the PNY Center. “I’m a little sore, but it just kind of is what it is at this point. I’m going to have to fight through it.”
Asked directly if he’s going to play, Johnson said: “Hopefully, like I said, man. This is valuable for us and we’ve battled, we’ve been through ups and down the whole year and for us to come this far, I’m going to do whatever I can to be out there for them.”
Johnson has battled what the team called a sore left heel since the All-Star break, missing five games, and when the injury was initially diagnosed in February, Johnson insisted it wasn’t plantar fasciitis because he’s had that specific injury before and seemed confident that it was something different.
Although he admitted he was concerned, P.J. Carlesimo didn’t appear as if he was ready to sound any kind of alarm, refusing to signal that the Nets were going to be without their superstar guard for any period of time.
“It’s unfortunate but injuries happen and hopefully he’s going to be OK,” the interim coach said. “If he’s not, other guys have to pick it up.”
Johnson, who scored 17 points on 6 of 18 shooting in Monday’s Game 2 loss, thinks he may have re-aggravated his foot when he came down after a jumper in the first quarter. He’s frustrated that this is creeping back up after he thought he had turned a corner leading into the playoffs.
“Yeah, it is because of the point of the season that it is for us,” Johnson said. “This is what we play the regular season for and we fought so hard to get to this point, and to have a little nagging injury like this, man, is tough. But it’s part of it.”