Nets’ Brook Lopez Sidelined over Injury

New Jersey Nets‘ center Brook Lopez will be having surgery on Friday to repair a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. In what can only be described as extraordinarily inconvenient timing, the surgery is scheduled a mere three days before the Nets open the long-delayed 66-game regular season.

Lopez was injured on Wednesday during the first half of the night’s preseason game against the New York Nicks. The announcement was made today by general manager Billy King.

This news comes hot off the heels of New Jersey’s recent failure to recruit center Dwight Howard, a rough initial blow to the Nets’ chances this season. Since recovery time for injuries such as this ranges from four to six weeks, this serves as yet another stopping point in what seems to be a run of bad luck for the Nets.

Last season, Lopez averaged 20.4 points per game, a team-best and personal career high. Lopez also showed promise at improving his career-worst average of 6.0 rebounds during the preseason, catching 20 in two games. Lopez has never missed an NBA game.

The delay is unfortunate, but stress fractures of the foot are not entirely uncommon. Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol suffered a similar injury in 2006 during his time with the Memphis Grizzlies and returned better than ever after a three month period. By contrast, Lopez’s teammate Damion James required 10 weeks to recover from the same injury last season. Regarding Lopez’s injury, Nets point guard Deron Williams had this to say:

“It’s definitely devastating. Brook’s a big part of our team. But there’s one thing you learn in this business — you can’t control injuries. From what I understand, it’s not that severe, so hopefully he’ll be on the court soon.”

Barring any potential setbacks, Lopez is expected to return to his team in February.

So what do you think, dear reader? Does Lopez have the moxy to jump back into the game sooner than expected?