Lin Returns to Practice

Jeremy Lin was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, marking a big step forward in his recovery from a strained left hamstring.

Lin has been out since injuring his hamstring on Dec. 26 (missing 24 games) and re-aggravating the injury sometime during the recovery process.

“There’s a lot of checkpoints, but finally I was able to go through enough of them to get on the floor,” Lin said. “[I just tried] to be competitive. I didn’t play great, but I was competitive.”

Coach Kenny Atkinson called it good news to see his starting point guard back on the floor and he had more good news after practice; Atkinson expects Lin to be back in the lineup when the Nets visit the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 24.

“I’m not sure that minute restriction will look like, or if there will be one,” Atkinson said. “We’re not there yet, we have to see how he progresses during this time. He looked good for the first time out.”

The NBA All-Star break comes at an inconvenient time for Lin to be close to a return. After Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee, the Nets will be off for a week, so Lin will be on his own for rehab instead of getting live reps in a practice setting.

“During that break I’ll still be on a rehab plan, just not here,” Lin said. “We have a lot of communication for what I’m supposed to do everything is detailed down to the last drill, minute, everything. It’s a very clear plan and I’m just going to follow it.”

Atkinson said Lin’s presence was a lift at Wednesday’s practice and having him on the court is important for the Nets to evaluate the development of the roster.

“He raises the practice level,” Atkinson said. “It gives the whole organization and our team some stability to see all of our players with a guy of Jeremy’s caliber and experience.”

Lin is averaging 13.9 points, 5.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 12 games this season.