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Nets hopeful Russell will return “Sooner rather than later”

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Atkinson remains “hopeful” that D’Angelo Russell will return “sooner rather than later“ from his left knee contusion.

“No, we’re not there. It’s updates every day, that’s where we are. … If it were contrary to that, somebody would be here.” he said Tuesday night, suggesting if there was more to say, Sean Marks would be talking, not him. “I’m hopeful that it’ll be sooner rather than later.”

The coach wouldn’t offer any sort of timetable. As the Nets initial release said, “Return-to-play updates will be provided as appropriate.” This isn’t something new with the Markinson-run Nets.

Adrian Wojnarowski reported Russell is “likely” to miss “several games,” but that was vague as well.

So, for now, the Nets have Spencer Dinwiddie starting at point with both Jeremy Lin and Russell out. Behind Dinwiddie is second-year pro Isaiah Whitehead who has struggled to earn his keep as a (point guard) in Brooklyn.

The Nets are also running Caris LeVert at the 1 on occasion to spell Dinwiddie but everyone acknowledges CLV is better on the wing.

Last season, Atkinson utilized combo guard Sean Kilpatrick at the point. But not yet this season. Through 13 games, he’s put Kilpatrick in only seven games. He received 10 minutes or more in only four of them..

“I can imagine [he gets time] with the situation as it is. He’ll probably have a shot, although we have to do it by committee,”Atkinson told Brian Lewis post-game. “It’s a good point. Sean [Kilpatrick] has done it for us before, he’s had big games playing point guard for us. That’s something we can look at.”

So, there is still no official timetable for Russell, and there’s no commitment by the Nets to play Kilpatrick despite his experience doing the same job last season.

As Newsday’s Greg Logan noted, day-to-day is better than week-to-week or month-to-month.