Kevin Garnett has missed 16 games with back spasms and the Nets have not offered much in the form of a timetable for his return — at least until Sunday.
When the Nets released the information on their Twitter account, they stated Garnett was targeting a return for either next weekend or when the team visits Miami and Orlando on April 8 and 9.
Head coach Jason Kidd did not make any comments about the timetable before Sunday’s game because the Nets did not release any details until about 45 minutes after his pregame availability. He was coy in answering any questions after the game.
“You don’t have to ask me anything,” Kidd said. “We’ll see when he comes back. He just needs to put on his uniform, that’s it. He can just play. It’s basketball. He’s done it his whole life, it doesn’t change.
The injury went from day-to-day to ruling Garnett out for a whole week. Speculation started that the Nets would be willing to let Garnett rest his injured back for the rest of the regular season.
“If he gets to play before the playoffs, that would be great,” head coach Jason Kidd said before Friday’s game with Cleveland. “If he gets to practice before the playoffs that would be great. If he had no practice or no games for him being on the floor that would help us dramatically.”
The closest Garnett has been to actually returning was March 10 against Toronto. He warmed up and was listed in the starting lineup but ruled out about a half hour before opening tip.
Before getting hurt Feb. 27 in Denver, Garnett was shooting 57 percent since Jan. 1 after a terrible start in the first two months of the season. The Nets are 12-4 in his absence due mostly to the steady play of Mason Plumlee.
Andrei Kirilenko, who missed his fourth straight game with a left ankle injury could return by “mid-week,” meaning he might play against the Knicks on Wednesday.
Williams reaches milestone
Deron Williams isn’t often included in a list of outstanding defensive guards but he had at least one steal for the 22nd straight game Sunday.
It marks the longest streak in the NBA this season and four off the team record shared by Mookie Blaylock in 1992 and Kidd in the 2001-02 season.
Williams wound up with two of Brooklyn’s 13 steals and Kidd called his starting point guard “underappreciated.”
Thornton injures back
Marcus Thornton might have played more than 15 minutes Sunday but instead he was forced to leave early with lower-back stiffness.
Thornton missed Wednesday’s loss at Charlotte with the injury and went 3-for-10 Friday against Cleveland.
Afterward, he said he was a “knucklehead” for returning and said he was day-to-day.
Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.