Brooklyn Nets: Setback for Allen Crabbe could be lengthy

Brooklyn Nets Allen Crabbe. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Allen Crabbe. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Brooklyn Nets swingman Allen Crabbe hasn’t played since Dec. 12 and his right knee will keep him out another 1-2 weeks before he’s re-evaluated.

The Brooklyn Nets announced before Wednesday’s 126-121 win over the New Orleans Pelicans that swingman Allen Crabbe will be sidelined at least another week or two because of continued soreness in his right knee.

Crabbe has a bruised fat pad in the knee, per the release from the Nets, that has been slow to heal.

The sixth-year pro in his second season with the Nets was injured on Dec. 12 after a hard fall in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers and had been participating in workouts in an attempt to return.

Those efforts will now be shut down to allow the bruising more time to subside.

The phrasing of the “next phase of his return-to-play protocol” leads one to believe that this initial one- to two-week period is just a starting point and that his return will be further out than that, based on the results and how long it takes him to work his way back into game shape.

Coach Kenny Atkinson said surgery is not anticipated.

It’s another setback in what is becoming a lost season for Crabbe, the highest-paid player on the Nets at $18.5 million per season, with a player option at that amount for next year as well.

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He sprained an ankle in the preseason and struggled mightily with his shooting upon his return, making just 27.1 percent of his attempts overall in his first 17 games and was only slightly better at 29.5 percent from 3-point range.

Crabbe had a breakout performance in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 21, scoring a season-high 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting and canning 7-of-11 from long range.

He had found a groove just before his injury, averaging 14.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game over the last six games he played, shooting 45 percent overall and a sizzling 52.3 percent from deep on 7.3 attempts per game.

After topping the 20-point mark just once and scoring in double-figures only six times over his first 22 appearances, Crabbe had scored 20 or more points twice and hit double-digits five times in his last six games.

Crabbe had moved into the starting lineup after Caris LeVert was injured in mid-November and started 15 games after making his first 13 appearances of the season as a reserve.

Overall this season, he’s averaging 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 26.1 minutes a game on 34.3 percent shooting, hitting 38.7 percent from 3.

Rookie Rodions Kurucs moved into the starting lineup in Crabbe’s absence and Brooklyn is 7-3 during that span.

The second-round pick from Latvia is averaging 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game as a starter on 48.7 percent shooting overall and 34.5 percent from deep.

The Nets are still without LeVert, while Treveon Graham, out since Oct. 19 with a left hamstring strain, got his first game action Wednesday with the Nets’ NBA G League affiliate in Uniondale, scoring 17 points with eight rebounds in 25 minutes.

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Dzanan Musa has been out a little more than two weeks with a partial dislocation of his left shoulder and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson missed his first game Wednesday after straining his right adductor in Saturday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.