Just about seven months since Brooklyn Nets’ center Brook Lopez‘s fourth foot surgery and he has finally been fully cleared to play basketball, he announced at an event in Russia this week.
“It’s great, I was fully cleared for play and everything a week and a half ago,” he told RBC, Mikhail Prokhorov’s version of Bloomberg News (via NetsDaily.com). “It’s great. Now its time to get back in shape.”
After the news broke, Tim Bontemps from the NY Post put a call in to Lopez who explained that he hasn’t exactly begun playing games yet. So far, he’s focused on conditioning and getting into shape. He emphasized that doctors told him he could go “full-bore” but it’s still early in the process.
Lopez injured his foot on Dec. 20 and had the surgery sometime in January. The Nets have maintained all along that he would be ready to start training camp and with that set to begin on Oct. 1 it seems like a realistic goal at this point.
Lopez, 26, as the Nets most consistent and best player last year before he got hurt. He averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes in 17 games. The Nets desperately need that production from him this season if they are going to contend with the departures of Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston and the reality that Kevin Garnett is far from the Hall of Famer he was in his prime.