The Nets just started full workouts for training camp on Sunday, and they’re already down a body. Young big man Nicolas Claxton will be unavailable for the remainder of camp after being diagnosed with tendinopathy in his right knee.
The condition – commonly misdiagnosed as tendonitis – was diagnosed after Claxton had experienced discomfort during workouts over the past week. Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendon, while tendinosis is a degeneration of the tendon’s collagen from chronic overuse. The Nets had started individual workouts on Tuesday at HSS Training Center.
Claxton, 21, will begin the rehabilitation and strengthening process immediately, but it is unclear when Claxton will be available to play. The tight-lipped Nets, as is their custom, declined to offer any timeline whatsoever for Claxton’s return.
It’s the latest health setback for the lanky center/power forward, who is gifted but oft-injured and missed much of last season’s rookie campaign.
Brooklyn is believed to have had Claxton in the top 20 on their draft board and had been surprised when he fell in last year’s draft. The Nets traded away both of their first-round selections, but landed Claxton with the top pick in the second, No. 31 overall. Unfortunately, they saw only glimpses of him, but never his best.
Claxton appeared in just 15 games for Brooklyn, averaging 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.5 minutes a night. His best night came against the NBA’s winningest team, when he had 14 points, six boards and three blocks in 19 minutes against the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 18.
But Claxton suffered a left shoulder injury that required arthroscopic labrum repair surgery in late June and eventually kept him out of the Bubble in Orlando. Now he has another health issue interrupting the start of his second season.