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Brooklyn Nets' D'Angelo Russell closing in on return to lineup

From NBA media reports

For 32 games, the Brooklyn Nets have gotten by without point guard D’Angelo Russell. It’s looking like game No. 33 will happen tonight against the San Antonio Spurs (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass) as Russell continues to mend from the left knee injury that sacked him on Nov. 11.

Since having arthroscopic surgery on the injury, Russell has been working his way back into game shape. Of late, he’s been practicing with the team’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, too. Brian Heyman of Newsday reports the Nets are hoping they’ll have the young guard back in the mix before long:

Kenny Atkinson said Russell felt good in the wake of Monday’s full practice with the Long Island Nets, and that he will do some simulated play after shootaround Wednesday. But the 21-year-old guard will miss his 32nd game since hurting his left knee against Utah on Nov. 11. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body six days later.

“I will say we’re getting closer,” Atkinson said. “He’s had some good practices with the G League team.”

Spencer Dinwiddie has been a plus since replacing Russell at the point and is averaging 14.5 points and 6.8 assists in 33 starts overall. Caris LeVert has done well behind Dinwiddie. So Russell’s re-emergence will give the Nets three big point guards, although the 6-5 Russell and the 6-7 LeVert have experience off the ball and the 6-6 Dinwiddie can defend against shooting guards.

The game plan is indeed to build up Russell’s playing time.

“We’ll have to figure out the minutes and the rotations and the chemistry,” Atkinson said. “That’ll be a challenge in the beginning.”

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