Prior to Monday’s game vs. the Knicks, the Nets announced that guard Tyler Johnson will require a “period of rehabilitation and strengthening” to address the soreness in his right knee, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post relays (via Twitter).
The club didn’t offer a specific timeline for Johnson’s recovery, indicating in its announcement that updates on his status would be provided as appropriate. However, speaking later to reporters, head coach Steve Nash suggested that it would likely be a “two-or-three week thing” (Twitter link via Lewis).
Johnson has been a reliable rotation player for Brooklyn this season, averaging 16.8 minutes per contest in 31 games. However, he’s obviously not nearly as crucial to the team’s ongoing success as James Harden, who is dealing with a leg injury of his own.
After missing two games due to right hamstring tightness, Harden returned to action on Monday night, but only played four minutes before experiencing discomfort in the same hamstring and leaving the game, per Malika Andrews of ESPN.
As Lewis writes for The New York Post, Nash said that a pregame scan on Harden’s hamstring was clean and that his strength tests were normal, so there’s no indication that there’s any structural damage. For now, Harden is considered day-to-day — after the game, Nash expressed uncertainty about whether the former MVP would have to miss much time.
“This may linger. It may be all behind us like we thought it was before the game,” Nash said. “But it’s just one of those things where the scan is clean, the strength tests are clean, but he feels something, so we’re going to err on the side of caution.”
The banged-up Nets are also missing guards Landry Shamet, who is day-to-day with an ankle injury, and Spencer Dinwiddie, who is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the season while recovering from ACL surgery.
On the plus side, star forward Kevin Durant, who has been out since February 13 with a hamstring injury of his own, is reportedly close to a return. And even while battling the injury bug, Brooklyn keeps winning. The team is currently 35-16, a half-game ahead of Philadelphia for the top seed in the East.