Allen Crabbe understands why the Nets are taking a cautious approach about his return to the court.
The 6-6 wing, who missed his seventh straight game Wednesday with right knee soreness, said before the matchup with the Hornets at Barclays Center that he had his longest workout earlier in the day since being sidelined after playing 31 minutes in a 127-124 victory over the 76ers December 12.
“I’d rather take care of it now,” Crabbe said. “It’s still early, we’re not even halfway through the season yet, so I’d rather get it taken care of than it coming back lingering around some time in February or March.”
Crabbe said Wednesday he originally thought the knee pain would only cost him a game or two.
“I had some pain, but it was bearable pain to get through the whole actual workout,” Crabbe said. “Previous days [I] was doing a few things and we were just shutting it down early. But [Wednesday] I got through the whole thing.”
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson wasn’t ready yet to put a timetable on Crabbe’s return, as he still wants to see the wing do more at practice, 3-on-3s, workouts and scrimmages.
"He’s pretty much healthy, we just need to get him some 3-on-3 time, scrimmage time,” Atkinson said. “Unfortunately we’re not practicing a ton, so as soon as he gets his rhythm — his game rhythm — back, we’ll throw him in there.”
The 26-year-old averaged 31.7 minutes per game in his six December matchups before the injury, and has started 15 games this season. He averaged 14.8 points and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 45 percent from the field in December.
Since being sidelined, 6-9 forward Rodions Kurucs has been inserted in the starting lineup and is playing well, including a 16-point, 10-rebound performance in a 111-103 victory over the Suns Sunday. The Nets are 5-1 over the six-game span.
“He’s been great for us,” Crabbe said . . . “I think he’s done a great job, energy wise, attacking the basket, he just plays fearless and he’s had great success with that.”