Cam Johnson appears to be closer to a return, though that return likely won’t occur Wednesday.
The Nets’ forward was upgraded to “doubtful” for the game against the Clippers at Barclays Center, the first time Johnson has not been deemed “out” since an MRI exam on his left calf contusion revealed a strain Oct. 30.
The plan at the time was for Johnson to be reevaluated in 10 days, which would be Thursday.
After facing off against the Clippers, the Nets play in Boston on Friday, which could mark the delayed start to Johnson’s season.
The 27-year-old is trying to put injuries behind him after an early season of starts and stops.
He missed the entirety of the preseason with a left hamstring strain but cracked into the Nets’ starting lineup for the season-opening loss to the Cavaliers.
Johnson scored 12 points in 26 minutes but suffered the calf strain that the Nets have said is unrelated to the hamstring strain.
“It was the very, very end,” Johnson said last week. “That last play with [Donovan] Mitchell, I kind of took a knee to the calf, and then somewhere in the next 10 seconds or so, something else must have happened. So it’s just kind of one of those things that you just can’t really control.”
Presuming he misses Wednesday’s matchup, Johnson would have sat for seven straight games.
Without Johnson, Cam Thomas has stepped into a smaller starting lineup and emerged as the team’s top scorer.
It will be curious to see how head coach Jacque Vaughn balances his lineup when the team returns to health.
Nic Claxton (left ankle sprain) has been ruled out and will miss his seventh straight game.
Claxton had said he suffered a high ankle sprain — which would involve a longer absence — but Vaughn called Claxton “day-to-day” on Monday.
Lonnie Walker IV, who scored 19 points in 22 minutes Monday with a hurting knee, is probable to play Wednesday with left knee soreness.