Nets notes: Andrei Kirilenko begins light practice

Andrei Kirilenko missed the final five preseason games with back spasms. AP Photo.

Andrei Kirilenko missed the final five preseason games with back spasms. AP Photo.

Update (1:36 p.m.): Kirilenko did not practice today, but told reporters that he needs to play five-on-five before he’d be ready for a game. Could practice tomorrow.

The Brooklyn Nets trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce was big, but a lot of fans and pundits really lauded the unexpected signing of Andrei Kirilenko as the move that really put them over the top this offseason. So far, though, they have barely had a chance to see the Russian in action as he missed the final five preseason games with back spasms.

Kirilenko finally did some physical activity over the weekend, but it was very light stuff on the treadmill as he still hasn’t participated in a full practice.

“He got some treadmill work in,” Kidd told Barbara Barker of Newsday, “but he didn’t do anything on the floor. It’s a day-by-day thing with him. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Kirilenko didn’t quite even get to that point a week ago when he suffered a setback. At this point, even with him beginning activity again, it’s hard to gauge when he’ll be back on the court as back issues tend to linger. It seems likely that he’ll miss the first game of the season on Wednesday, but Friday and Sunday are also questionable as well. It’s not going to be until he goes through a full practice and feels good the next day that we’ll have a good idea of when to expect him to return.

• Pierce also missed practice on Sunday after he jammed his toe in the Nets final preseason game against the Heat. The Nets are downplaying the severity of the injury though and said they just gave him the day off as a precaution.

“Just jammed it the other day in the game, just taking a couple days of rest,” Pierce said. “Going into the season, you want to make sure you’re 100 percent, take extra precaution and see how it feels tomorrow.”

• Everyone expects Lawrence Frank to serve as interim head coach for two games while Jason Kidd serves his DUI suspension. However, Kidd hasn’t made that decision official yet.


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