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Caris LeVert closing in on return after expanded contact drills

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New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images

Caris LeVert will not play Thursday vs. New York, but he is, as he said earlier in the day, clearly close to a return after missing six weeks of action after right thumb surgery.

LeVert did contact work with coaches on Monday then after with his teammate on Tuesday and early Thursday. He’s missed 20 games since November 10 during which time the Nets have gone 12-8. Two games later, Kyrie Irving went down with shoulder issues. There’s no word on his return. Nicolas Claxton is also out with a hamstring injury.

After playing the Knicks Thursday, the Nets head out on the road, playing four of the next five away from Barclays Center, starting with the Rockets on Saturday. The Nets only home game in that stretch is January 4, vs. the defending NBA champion Raptors.