Nets' Joe Johnson day-to-day with plantar fasciitis

02/22/2013 7:58 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Joe Johnson is "likely" to return Sunday, according to Nets GM Billy King.(AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson, who sat out Friday night’s game against Houston, is “day-to-day” with plantar fasciitis according to Nets general manager Billy King, but King was optimistic that the six-time All-Star would return for Sunday’s game against Memphis.

Johnson, who had just eight points and six rebounds in 38 minutes in Wednesday’s win, was hobbled by the inflammation during that game, and King said he was checked by trainer Tim Walsh and that MRIs were negative for any structural damage.

“It was sore after the Milwaukee game (Wednesday), and he got looked at by our doctors (Thursday) and it was mildly inflamed,” King said. “He’s on some medication, but it’s likely that he’ll play Sunday; he feels better today than he did (Thursday).”

The Nets have seen Deron Williams miss three games and both Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace miss extended periods already this season, although Friday was the first game Johnson had missed.

Through the first 55 games, Johnson led the Nets with an average of 38 minutes per game, and King said that may be something interim coach P.J. Carlesimo will have to scale back over the final nine weeks.

“His minutes are so high, but (Interim coach) P.J. Carlesimo is cognizant of that, and can maybe try to monitor his minutes and rest him a little more,” King said. “As we continue to play, if we play well, maybe we can find the time to get him some rest, which would be good.”

Carlesimo hoped he would only have to live without Johnson for one game, whose absence was key in part because he plays the most minutes on the team.

“(Johnson) plays so many minutes and he’s such a crucial player that sitting him out for an extended period of time will have an impact,” Carlesimo said. “Maybe you can dodge a bullet for a game or two, but if you sit him out for a while, it’ll be a problem. It’s going to be hard.”

King did say that Johnson may have gutted through the pain in a more do-or-die situation, but with 27 games left, making sure he’s healthy will be more of a management issue, one that every team must deal with come this time of year.

“Everybody’s got somebody (battling injury), and you’re going to be banged up at this point in the season, so you just try to go out and win games,” King said. If it comes to winning games and you can’t rest guys during games because you need wins for a good seeding, maybe they don’t practice as much; there’s ways to manage it.”

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