Kirilenko to miss 20th game of season

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, who will miss his 20th game this season Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers due to lingering back spasms, plans on returning to the lineup before the team embarks on a three-game road-trip Dec. 28.

"I'm planning [on playing then], but we don't know how it's going to go, but I'd like to play [in one of those home games around Christmas time]," Kirilenko said.

Next week, the Nets host the Indiana Pacers (Monday), Chicago Bulls (Wednesday) and Milwaukee Bucks (Friday) before flying to Indiana (Saturday).

Kirilenko hopes to practice before Christmas. He cannot give an exact date for his return, though.

Kirilenko has already had three setbacks and received two epidurals. He has had back spasms in the past that have caused him to miss 7-to-10 days. This has obviously been way worse.

Kirilenko put shots up Saturday and was planning to do some more shooting Monday.

"It feels good to get back on the floor and be part of a basketball team, obviously, and right now it's just a matter of getting into game shape, getting into game rhythm and doing basketball stuff," Kirilenko said. "Even tonight I'm gonna get some shots, gonna get some movement."