Joe Harris Credit: Bill Moore photo

With Kevin Durant sidelined indefinitely with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, suffered Jan. 15 in a 120-105 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Brooklyn Nets could use additional dependable shooters and a veteran presence. Joe Harris, their 6-foot-6 guard/small forward, would be more than welcomed to fill that role.

But his expected return has been delayed due to issues in his recovery from surgery on his left ankle. Harris hasn’t played since Nov. 14 and had surgery on Nov. 29. The 30-year-old 3-point marksman was averaging 11.3 points per game in 14 games played this season and was making 46.6% of his three pointers. The initial time period given for his recovery was four to eight weeks. The Nets have not stated when he will be ready to rejoin the lineup. The Nets were 29-17, third in the Eastern Conference before facing the Los Angeles Lakers in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

“I’m reluctant to talk about it because I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to say the wrong thing,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash on Sunday afternoon after his team’s 136-125 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the most points the
Nets have allowed this season. “But he’s had some flare-ups, little setbacks here and there. But he’s continuing to stay positive and work on his rehab and try to overcome it.” Nash and the Nets’ primary decision makers believe that Harris, one of the team’s more durable players since joining them in 2016, is progressing but not ready to return to full contact practices.

“He’s getting on the court a little bit and continuing to work through the rehab, but he’s not ready for his high-intensity stuff yet,” Nash noted.

After hosting the Denver Nuggets at the Barclays Center last night (Wednesday) the Nets will begin a nine-day, five-game road trip beginning Saturday versus the Golden State Warriors. They will also play the Phoenix Suns next Tuesday, the Sacramento Kings next Wednesday, the Utah Jazz on Friday and end with the Nuggets on Sunday, Feb. 6.

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