Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko will not travel with the team on their three-game west coast trip as he rests his back, the team announced today.
Kirilenko suffered back spasms after the first two games in preseason, sitting out most practices, missing the rest of the exhibition games, and sitting out the team’s regular season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s shuffled in and out of the rotation since as he continues to rest his back, and by missing the West Coast trip, he’ll get at least another week of rest. That leaves the team’s presumed sixth man out of five of the team’s first ten games, and no one-game stint more than 17 minutes.
After Kirilenko opted out of a one-year contract worth $10 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Nets signed the 6’9″ forward to a two-year deal worth a little over $6 million. The second year is a player option.
Back spasms are no joke, and this could be a lingering injury that follows Kirilenko throughout the season. If a week of rest now means a healthier Kirilenko down the stretch, all the better. But with the Nets already reeling a bit at 2-4, they’ll need him healthy to right the ship sooner rather than later.