By TIM BONTEMPS
Last Updated: 4:26 AM, October 27, 2012
It had seemed as if the Nets had avoided the injury bug this preseason when no one was hurt in Wednesday’s preseason finale against the Knicks.
But then came Friday’s news point guard Deron Williams would miss at least two practices with left ankle synovitis, which is inflammation of the tissue in the ankle. Williams received an injection in the ankle yesterday, and will also sit out of today’s practice.
“We don’t think it’s anything serious,” coach Avery Johnson said following yesterday’s practice.
There’s no reason to think this injury will be anything like the one the Nets endured coming out of their final preseason game against the Knicks last season, when Brook Lopez suffered a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and wound up missing all but five games of the season.
In fact, Johnson is hoping to have Williams back practicing with the team either Sunday or Monday, depending on how Hurricane Sandy impacts the team’s practice schedule.
“[It’s been] bothering him off and on, but he didn’t think much of it,” Johnson said. “It was more in the offseason and, every now and then it would act up on him, but we didn’t limit him in practice or anything.
“He’s just been icing it, and we had to send him to the doctor and check them out. [The doctor] saw a little mild tendinitis in there, and hopefully this treatment program that he’s on will help him, and he’ll be ready to go in the next 24-48 hours.”
Still, the last thing the Nets want to see is their star point guard dealing with any kind of injury less than a week before the team is scheduled to open up the regular season against the Knicks in their new home in Brooklyn. Johnson admitted the injury could be something the Nets will have to manage as the season wears on.
“We’ll see what happens after the next couple of days,” Johnson said.
Williams may have missed practice because of his ankle issues, but he did appear on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” Friday night on NBC.
Fallon, who was born in Brooklyn, said he would become a Nets fan, and asked Williams about Thursday’s season opener against the Knicks.
“It’s a big game,” Williams said. “It’s a big game for both teams, just to kick off the season, kick off kind of the rebirth of a franchise, and Brooklyn’s behind us. So we’re really excited about the game, and just can’t wait for it to get here.”
Every person in the audience also got a copy of NBA Baller Beats, the video game with Williams as its cover athlete that came out last month.
It’s just the latest high-profile appearance for the face of the Nets franchise this month. Williams graced the cover of Sports Illustrated earlier this month, and also was on Comedy Central’s “Night of Too Many Stars,” a charity show to help support Autism programs, on Sunday.
He also wasn’t the only person to miss practice Friday. Keith Bogans sat out once again with a sore right knee, but said he expects to return to practice Saturday.
Josh Childress, who has been bothered by a sore left ankle, got an extra day of rest, and Johnson said he is day-to-day. Andray Blatche also missed practice with a case of the flu, but tweeted Friday that he’s feeling much better and is expected to practice Saturday.