Earlier reports that Brook Lopez may return by early February could be as overly optimistic as they initially sounded. According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the New Jersey Nets announced Friday that the third-year center is now more likely to return within a six-to-eight week timeframe. Lopez suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during Wednesday's preseason game against the New York Knicks.
As NetDaily points out, a return in six weeks would place Lopez back in the lineup on Feb. 3, missing 23 of the Nets' scheduled 66 games. In eight weeks the Nets will have played 31 games, and more importantly, the team will be running closer up against the March 15 trade deadline. Lopez has been mentioned as a potential trade chip if the Nets were to acquire Dwight Howard.
The Nets reportedly inserted a screw into Lopez' right foot in hopes of speeding up the recovery process. He will begin rehabilitation in two weeks.
For more on Lopez and and the Nets, be sure to visit the SB Nation blog NetsDaily.