Nets head coach Hollins believes Brook Lopez will be ready for opening night


Brook Lopez suffered a soft tissue injury to his surgically-repaired foot back on Oct. 16, and hasn’t practiced with the team since.

Originally, the timetable for him to return was 10 days, which would have him back in time for Brooklyn’s season-opener in Boston on Wednesday.

Nets head coach Lionel Hollins isn’t a doctor, but discussions he’s had with the team’s big man leads him to believe that he can pencil Lopez into his opening night starting lineup.

From Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York:

“He was on the [anti-gravity] treadmill, but he’s doing fine,” Hollins said Friday. “I think he’ll be ready by opening day, but that’s my opinion to talking to with him, but the doctors [still have to clear him].”

So what does Hollins need to see in Lopez before he returns? “That he’s healthy. That’s all. If he’s healthy, he’s gonna play,” Hollins said. “I’d prefer [he practice], but if he doesn’t, it doesn’t matter.”

The Nets announced that Lopez did not practice on Saturday.

Brooklyn had a bit of an odd preseason, which included a trip to China, the NBA’s experimental 44-minute game, and three games in four nights to end its exhibition schedule.

Lopez should undoubtedly play and start if he’s healthy enough to do so, but it might be an adventure of sorts getting him reacclimated during the first handful of games to start the season.