Caris Levert (271203)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Nets medical team rushed onto the court. EMS was immediately called. The arena became silent. Players and coaches stood concerned. Those who pray did so as all eyes were focused on the Target Center court in Minneapolis, Minn., where Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert lay in pain after colliding with opponent Jeff Teague of the Minnesota Timberwolves, with 3.7 seconds left before halftime Monday night.

Basketball fans were reminded of Paul George’s USA Basketball injury in August 2014, and of Kevin Ware of Louisville severely injuring his leg during the 2013 NCAA tournament.

LeVert was taken to a hospital but was able to return with the team to New York early Tuesday morning. He was evaluated by the Nets’ team orthopedist, Dr. Martin O’Malley, at the Hospital for Special Surgery. After the evaluation, LeVert was diagnosed with a subtalar dislocation of the right foot.

A statement issued by the Brooklyn Nets quoting O’Malley read, “Fortunately, tests performed this morning revealed that there are no fractures, and only moderate ligament damage. While the optics of this injury may have appeared to be more severe, surgery will not be required. Caris will begin a period of rehabilitation with the Nets’ performance staff, following which he is expected to return to full strength and resume all basketball activities without any limitations this season.”

No time schedule for his return was given, but updates regarding LeVert’s rehabilitation will be issued during the appropriate time.

If LeVert ever wondered or questioned his value to this team, he’s received some answers.

“He is the heart and soul of our program,” said Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “It’s a tough, tough blow for the Nets.”

In the 14 games that he’s played in this season, LeVert has averaged 18.4 points, a career high, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 29.7 minutes per game.

During the first half against Minnesota, LeVert logged 10 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.

Brooklyn versus Minnesota was the last game of the Nets’ four-game road trip: a 104-82 win over the Phoenix Suns, a 112-110 win over the Denver Nuggets, a 116-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors, the defending champions, and the loss of LeVert and the game Monday night to the Timbs, 120 to 113.

LeVert had 26 points, the game high with 5 rebounds against Phoenix, and he hit the game-winning shot against the Nuggets, 17 points on the night.

Brooklyn travels to the nation’s capital to play the Washington Wizards tomorrow (Friday), and then returns home to play the L.A. Clippers, a back-to-back Saturday before traveling to Miami to play the Heat Tuesday and the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, another back-to-back.