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Deron Williams Diagnosed with a Rib Fracture, No Timetable for his Return

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Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Billy King and the Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday that Deron Williams did indeed fracture the cartilage portion of his 12th rib on the left side. Williams only played four minutes in the loss to Boston when he checked out of the game grimacing in pain and holding his left side -- the same left side that held him out of Monday's overtime loss to Dallas.

His return is uncertain and he'll be re-evaluated in a week.

Medical Director Dr. Riley Williams III put out a statement Thursday morning.

"Deron reported some soreness above this area over the weekend and as a result underwent imaging studies this Monday, which were negative. Yesterday during the game he reported a new onset of symptoms below the prior area of soreness. New imaging studies done today demonstrated the fracture. There is no timetable for his return. He will be re-assessed in one week."

One league source said a fracture of the cartilage is likely to keep Williams out for weeks, not months.

The injury comes at an inconvenient time. The Nets are on a three game losing streak and they're about to hit one of the toughest portions of their 82-game schedule. In place of Williams, Jarrett Jack has been playing a lot -- but a bit too much. The new starting point guard logged 44 minutes vs. Dallas and 39 against the Celtics. Lionel Hollins even gave him the practice off so he could rest.

Jack's backup at the moment is Darius Morris, but the Nets could use a little more stability at the point guard spot if Williams needs to sit out longer than expected. Tim Bontemps reports they're unlikely to search for another:

A league source confirmed to NetsDaily that the Nets believe they can survive with Jack and Morris manning the point.

Meanwhile, Ric Bucher said the injury may not end trade rumors involving D-Will.  In a Bleacher Report video, Bucher noted the Rockets need a point guard and might be interested.

To give an indication of just how aggressive they might be, sources around the league say dont count Deron Williams out from the Brooklyn Nets, even though he has that fat contract and right now he has that rib injury

Far more likely, Bucher said the Rockets would make a bid for Goran Dragic.  Bucher did not suggest who Houston might give up.

Williams has missed four games this season and 25 during his [Brooklyn] Nets tenure. It's been a redundant question asked since moving to Brooklyn: Will Deron Williams ever be fully healthy?