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Nic Claxton’s return ‘closer to midseason break’ as he continues to rehab right knee

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Saturday’s game against the Orlando Magic, Steve Nash provided an update on Nic Claxton, revealing that the Nets 21-year-old is likely to come back in February towards the midseason break.

“I think Nic is probably closer to the midseason break than he is to now,” Nash said about Claxton’s return. “Sometime in February for sure but no setbacks and he’s working through it.”

The break runs from March 5 through 10.

Claxton has not appeared in a game for Brooklyn this season and missed the Orlando “bubble” with shoulder surgery. So if he returns in late February or early March, he will have missed a full year.

.The 21-year-old was diagnosed with right knee tendinopathy and has been participating in a rehabilitation and strengthening program. Claxton started to feel discomfort in his right knee during workouts prior to training camp.

Without Claxton and following the James Harden trade, the Nets only have two big men available with DeAndre Jordan and Reggie Perry, who is a rookie.

When Nash was asked about Jordan being prepared to see a high increase in minutes, the Nets 46-year-old coach says Jordan not only plays a great role for this team but the Nets will look towards utilizing small-ball lineups to lessen the load for Jordan.

“I think DJ can play a great role for this team,” Nash said. “He has still shown to be really effective but I think we still go with a smaller lineup. I don’t think he needs to play 30 minutes a night. We’ll see how it goes but at his age, playing four games a week and playing high loads, we don’t want to overtax him there so he can be effective in the stints he does play.”