Johnson hopes to play, but isn't certain

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson sounds optimistic that he'll play Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks, but isn't 100 percent certain.

"I wanna say yeah, but I don't want to jump out on a limb," said Johnson, who has missed the past three games due to a sore left heel. "We're still trying to do the necessary things to get me back out there as soon as possible."

Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said Thursday he's "hopeful" that Johnson will be able to go.

Said Johnson of his heel: "It's better, not 100 percent, but it's definitely better. I'm able to get out here and move around, work out and get back acclimated."

Johnson hopes the injury doesn't linger throughout the rest of the season and into the playoffs.

"Everyday it's gotten a lot better to the point where I can get out of bed and don't have to limp, so it's definitely getting better," he said.

The Nets have gone 1-2 without Johnson, who is averaging 17 points on 42.3 percent shooting in 38 minutes per game.

Reserve MarShon Brooks who has a sprained right wrist, did not practice Thursday and his status for Friday night's game is uncertain.