Brook Lopez leaves Clippers game with sprained left ankle

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez suffered a sprained right ankle in the third quarter Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers and would not return to the game, the team announced.

Lopez sprained the ankle crumpling to the ground after a double-team in the post. He left the game immediately afterwards, staying on the bench and even returning briefly before heading to the locker room. It is Lopez’s third ankle injury this season and the second to his left ankle; Lopez sprained the left ankle against the Phoenix Suns on November 15th and missed eight games with the injury.

It’s a sickening blow to the team: just as Deron Williams returns to form, Lopez goes down with yet another ankle injury. There is no word yet on whether or not the Nets will play him tomorrow against the Detroit Pistons, but they usually do not play injured players on the second half of back-to-backs.