Murphy return won't affect Favors' minutes

Avery Johnson said after Wednesday morning's shootaround that he's going to wait until closer to tip-off to decide if Troy Murphy will take the floor against the Charlotte Bobcats. It's likely that Murphy will play and start against the Bobcats barring any unforeseen setback prior to the 7 p.m. tip at Prudential Center.

Regardless of whether it happens against Charlotte or not, Johnson made it clear that Murphy's return will not cut into Derrick Favors' playing time.

Favors is averaging 21.3 minutes a game for the 2-1 Nets. He recorded his first double-double against the Heat on Sunday. Favors, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, is averaging 10.0 rebounds and 10.3 points per game through three games.

"This whole year is about Favors growing as an NBA player. So his minutes won't be affected," Johnson said.

It's likely that current starter Joe Smith will be the odd man out when Murphy returns. Smith has started all three games but has played an average of seven minutes, scoring less than a point per game.

Kris Humphries is a hustle guy who gives Johnson's club good energy off the bench. So his role is unlikely to change, though his minutes may decrease.

As for Murphy, he says he felt fine after going through Tuesday's physical practice and he expects to play tonight.

Johnson said Murphy will be on a minutes limit, but would not reveal the specific number to reporters.

He did say that Murphy's strength isn't where he'd liked it to be, which is understandable considering Murphy missed the preseason with a strained lower back.

To remedy that, Johnson said Murphy will join his "Breakfast Club" of players who workout in the morning on Thursday in Orlando.

MORROW TWEAKS ANKLE: Starting shooting guard Anthony Morrow inadvertently stepped on a teammate and suffered a left ankle contusion late in Tuesday's practice.

Morrow participated only in the walk-through portion of shootaround on Wednesday morning. He said afterward that his ankle was "a little sore" but he didn't think the injury would keep him out of the lineup on Wednesday night against Charlotte.