Deron Williams likely back Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams is likely to return Tuesday against the Boston Celtics, a team official confirmed Thursday night.

Williams has missed the last eight straight games due to a sprained left ankle -- 10 overall with the injury. The Nets are 2-8 without Williams in the lineup.

He originally hurt his ankle Nov. 15 in Phoenix, which caused him to miss two games. He returned Nov. 20 in Charlotte, aggravated the injury, and hasn't played since.

Tyshawn Taylor has been starting recently in Williams' absence, with Shaun Livingston backing him up.

Williams, 28, had been averaging just 9.3 points and six assists per game. His Player Efficiency Rating of 13 is below the league average.

The Nets (5-14) lost for the 12th time in 14 games Thursday, getting routed by the rival New York Knicks 113-81.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.