Andrei Kirilenko has missed most of the preseason and seven of the Brooklyn Nets’ first 11 games. He’s going to miss more than that too and in an effort to help him recover as quickly as possible, the Nets gave him an epidural injection in his back a little over a week ago, according to Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News.
“It usually takes 10 days to 2 weeks (for recovery following the injection,” Kirilenko told Bondy. “Right now it’s probably at eight or nine days. Otherwise, I’m good. I usually never have that long period of this injury sustained for that long, for about a month. …The last three or four days there were no feelings of pain. It’s just the medicine they injected you have to for.”
Kirilenko has always been known to be injury prone. He hasn’t played in more than 72 games in a season since 2003-04 and not more than 67 games since 2007-08. It’s part of the reason why the Nets were able to afford him this past offseason. The back spasms are nothing new either has he’s dealt with them off and on for a few years, but its never been this long.
“I tried to treat it, come back, again, it gets hurt,” Kirilenko said. “I was feeling good in a week, come back, again it starts to hurt. That’s why we decided to the shot. Now we’re trying to wait the full period and try to avoid re-injury.”
In four games this season, Kirilenko, 32, has averaged 15.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals per 36 minutes with an effective field goal percentage of 42.9. Those are solid stats except for the eFG% which could either be due to the small sample size of stats or it could be a sign that his back is hurting his shot. Neither would surprise me.
Kidd has not said when he expects Kirilenko back, he hasn’t really given timelines for the recovery of any players as a coach, but Kirilenko told Bondy that he expects to play against the Detroit Pistons this Sunday.