Brook Lopez to play Monday

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez will make his 2014 regular-season debut in Monday night's home-opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Barclays Center.

Lopez missed the team's first two games of the season due to a right midfoot sprain he suffered during the preseason on Oct. 15.

"I don't think nervous, but anxious. Anxious is a good word," Lopez said after going through a full practice Sunday. "I'm excited to play tomorrow. I wish it was right now."

Lopez has not played in a regular-season game since Dec. 20, 2013.

The 26-year-old said he plans to sleep up until he has to leave for the arena so time moves more quickly.

"It's like Christmas," Lopez said.

The Nets were hopeful that Lopez could play in the team's regular-season opener Wednesday in Boston, but it didn't happen.

He went through a couple non-contact practices leading up to that game, but during shootaround, Nets coach Lionel Hollins said Lopez was feeling pain in his foot. He then did not practice Friday following an off day Thursday, leading to concern that he suffered a setback.

But Lopez went through shootaround and walk-through Saturday, and then practiced fully on Sunday. Lopez said he wasn't feeling any pain Saturday. He said it was just soreness due to inactivity.

"I think I'm just gonna have to come out and be mentally prepared," Lopez said. "Make sure I have the [offensive] sets down, the defensive plays. It's tough coming in from doing pretty much nothing to playing pretty much a full NBA game with the speed of the game. ... It's gonna take a lot of preparedness, but I'll be ready."

Hollins said he wants Lopez to be strong in his pick-and-roll defense, and makes sure he gives good "shows" in his coverages.

The Nets originally gave a 10-to-14 day timetable for Lopez's recovery on Oct. 16. He ended up needing more time than that, but the Nets are glad he's back.

Lopez, when healthy, is one of the best scoring big men in the game. He averaged 20.7 points on 56.3 percent shooting in 2013-14 before getting hurt. Second-year pro Mason Plumlee had been starting in his place.

Lopez was limited to just 17 games last season after fracturing the fifth metatarsal of his right foot for the second time in his career. He has had to undergo multiple surgeries on the foot, which has caused plenty of concern about his ability to sustain long-term health.

But Nets general manager Billy King has said the team isn't as worried because Lopez's latest injury wasn't a fracture, just a sprain.

Brooklyn owner Mikhail Prokhorov is expected to attend Monday night's game.