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Spencer Dinwiddie return ‘very close’ as he practices with Long Island

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Spencer Dinwiddie has been out with torn ligaments in his right thumb since Caron Butler broke the news on January 24 (and Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed it.)

Now it looks like the Nets PG is close to return. After he was spotted shooting pre-game, reporters asked Kenny Atkinson how close? Atkinson replied cryptically, yet optimistically.

“I’ll say this, he is very close to returning. Very close,” Atkinson said. “I’ll leave it at that (smiles) … very close.”

Then, on Thursday morning, the Nets announced Dinwiddie— and Jared Dudley, coming off a hamstring injury— will practice later in the day with the Long Island Nets at the HSS Training Center.

Atkinson added that there’s no set number of practices Dinwiddie would have to participate in before he returns to the floor, but says of the 6’6” combo guard, “He’s been doing a lot on the court, I think he’s close to being ready.”

Exhibit 1...

Exhibit 2 ...

The Nets have two more games this week – home against the Hornets on Friday and in Miami vs the Heat on Saturday.

As any Nets fan knows, Atkinson saying anyone is “close” is pretty significant.

Dinwiddie added the perception a couple of days ago, when he joked that he was hopeful to return within Woj’s estimated timeline of 3-6 weeks.

We are now in week five, and the Sixth Man of the Year candidate – presuming he hasn’t missed too many games to remove him from contention – could return better than he was when he left. The Nets would certainly welcome that.

Dinwiddie previously admitted before his surgery that his thumb had been bothering him for a while.