<
>

Brook Lopez gets in non-contact practice

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Brook Lopez participated in the Nets’ non-contract practice on Monday and is progressing toward a return to the court.

When the center returns remains to be seen. Lopez’s status for Wednesday’s season opener against the Boston Celtics remains uncertain as the 7-footer continues to make his way back from a mild right midfoot sprain that has kept him out since Oct. 16.

The original timetable for Lopez’s recovery was set at 10-to-14 days. The two-week mark will be this Thursday.

“He’s making progress,” Nets general manager Billy King said. “We will see how it goes. The goal is to hopefully play on Wednesday. If not, [the goal is to] shoot for Saturday, if not, shoot for Monday. He is making great progress.”

After the opener at Boston, the Nets play at Detroit on Saturday before returning to Barclays for their home opener against Oklahoma City on Monday.

“It is good to be back on the court with the team,” Lopez said. “It was great ... It’s been progressing very well and I feel better every day.”

“I’d like to go Wednesday but that’s up to [trainer] Timmy [Walsh],” Lopez added. “Just building up more. I feel like I can play Wednesday. We’ll see.”

The 7-footer has missed 134 games over the last three seasons. He played in just 17 games last season after suffering a season-ending injury to his right foot Dec. 20 in Philadelphia.

Lopez, 26, underwent two procedures on his right foot Jan. 4, when he had surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal and a first metatarsal osteotomy, in which another bone was repositioned in his foot to unload and protect the injured area.

On March 3, Lopez had surgery to repair a torn tendon and tighten lateral ligaments in his left ankle.

“Obviously, we were all concerned about his health,” Kevin Garnett said. “[Lopez] works hard, gets his work in. [He] looked fine.”