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D-Will improving but still feeling pain in rib

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Deron Williams didn’t have many answers about his rib injury.

And the point guard didn’t sound like he was anywhere near a return to the court, either.

Williams said he hasn’t been able to do any exercise at all as he continues to treat a fracture of the cartilage portion of his left 12th rib.

“Still pretty sore,” Williams said. “I don’t have a timetable, just take it one day at a time.”

Williams has missed the past three games since suffering his rib injury Jan. 7 after playing four minutes against the Celtics. He had missed the previous game with a rib injury that he suffered on Jan. 4 in Miami as well.

“They say it is separate,” Williams said of the injuries. “I find it kind of weird that I have two rib injuries on the same side. I have never had a rib issue in my life.”

Williams said he did not get hit in the rib area. He thinks he suffered his most recent rib injury with Celtics point guard Marcus Smart on his shoulder as he was trying to make a move. He felt spasms in his rib area similar to the one he experienced in Miami.

The point guard says he feels the injury with “everything -- breath, sneeze, cough” and that it hurts to try to reach in certain areas. But he adds that it has gotten better.