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Steve Nash leaves door open for Nic Claxton to return Sunday vs Timberwolves

Memphis Grizzlies v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

It’s been another tough injury absence for Nic Claxton, but one that is nearing an end, his coach says.

Claxton, who has struggled to stay healthy since being drafted by Brooklyn in 2019, is dealing with left hamstring tightness. Although bouncing from “questionable” to “out,” on the Nets current road trip, the 22-year-old will miss his sixth-straight game against the Spurs Friday night.

Prior to Friday night’s game against San Antonio, the Nets head coach left the door open for a possible return Sunday night against the Timberwolves in Minnesota — the final game of the four-game trip. The Nets big has traveled with the team throughout the trip and is with the team in San Antonio.

“I don’t know if it’s totally closed,” said Nash on the chance Claxton plays Sunday against the Timberwolves. “I think it’s still a day-to-day thing, but I know we’ve been saying that now for a while. I don’t think we have a better verbiage because we still do think that there’s a chance he can play each game. Rolling down this path where I’m not ready to commit to more than day-to-day, but looking back it’s been more than day-to-day.”

Claxton has played in only 67 games since being drafted by the team in 2019. Before injuring his hamstring, the 22-year-old was finding a groove with the Nets — averaging 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.5 blocks in 23.2 minutes in his last 11 games.

In that span, Claxton reached double-digits nine times, which included a series of strong performances: A career-high 18 points against the Clippers on December 27; 17 points against the Sixers on December 16; 16 points against the Raptors on December 14, before going down against the Blazers on January 10, his last game.