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Caris LeVert starts limited practice but Nets won’t “project down the road”

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One of the big hopes Nets fans harbor is that rookie Caris LeVert will become a big star. Taken at the No. 20 with the Pacers pick, LeVert was a bit of a risk. He broke his foot three times in college and is still rehabbing with the Nets’ performance team.

On Monday, the fans’ hopes and LeVert’s were advanced when the Nets announced that LeVert has started “limited” practice, although they didn’t define exactly what that means.

“He’s on schedule,” Atkinson said. “Each guy’s got their plan, and we’re just being smart with all of our guys. We’re definitely not looking to rush people in preseason.”

Atkinson didn’t offer a timetable for the 6’7” swing man’s return, adding, “Day by day we look at what it looks like and we talk to our performance team and to our coaches. He’s progressing. We can’t project down the road.”

Shortly after the Draft, Atkinson said he hoped LeVert would be “ready” by training camp and to a certain extent he is. Prior to Monday’s announcement, LeVert told NetsDaily he spent most of his day at HSS Training Center rehabbing with the performance team but practicing his shooting.

Although the Nets didn’t give a timetable, it’s reasonable to assume that he’s doing well, perhaps is ahead of schedule. If he was behind, it’s hard to imagine they’d be trumpeting a milestone.

Here’s what he told NetsDaily on Media Day.

“I’ve been working with the staff. They’ve told me to keep progressing. I’ve been progressing pretty well. They haven’t given me any specific date. But I keep progressing at this pace, I should be ready to go in no time."

So when will “no time” end? Chris McCullough didn’t start 5-on-5 practice until January 1, and didn’t step on the court until February 8. But even that’s not a fair analogy. The injuries were different, one a torn ACL, the other a foot reconstruction. High hopes or not, we have to wait.