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Nets missing Jeremy Lin ... with no date for return

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It's been two weeks since Jeremy Lin went down with a hamstring strain vs. the Pistons. The Nets won that game, but have only won two of seven since.

In the interim, his main backup, Greivis Vasquez, was released and underwent surgery; one rookie, Isaiah Whitehead, started two games but missed three others to a concussion; a second rookie, Yogi Ferrell, was signed and played well (enough) in five games; Sean Kilpatrick, a swingman who had never played the point before, started four games with mixed results; and Randy Foye, the 33-year-old combo guard, started last night.

If you're counting, that's five fill-in's. Not good.

When will this end? No one is yet saying.  Lin was evaluated, as scheduled, on Thursday but the Nets aren't predicting a return.

"Just progressing as planned. He’s on target. I’m not going to give exact dates … but he’s progressing on schedule,’’ Atkinson said of Lin, who didn’t take part in Friday’s shootaround, but ran and shot afterward. "I’m going to listen to the performance team. We’re going to be smart about this, take a long term approach."

Greg Logan tweeted what he saw Friday ... and what it meant...

It's starting to sound like we're another week --or two-- away. Hamstrings are indeed tough to predict and the Nets, starting a long rebuilding process, are not going to risk long-term damage or Lin playing, then sitting, then playing again.  It's not worth it.

The problems are not just about the loss of the Nets starting point guard and all that means day in, day out. It also is going to delay development of on-court continuity and chemistry. Lin had only played four and a half games before being injured.  It's almost back to square one when he returns.

In the meantime, Lin has become sort of an assistant point guard coach, with clipboard, natty suit and matching eyeglasses.  It's frustrating to him as well, obviously.

So, for the moment, we like he have to hang in there.