Despite his return, Williams was ruled out for Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors, marking his earliest return at home on February 2nd against Chris Paul & the Los Angeles Clippers.
Williams has battled what the team called a fracture of the cartilage portion of his lower 12th rib since January 4th. He last played a four-minute stint off the bench on January 7th, before the fracture was found, and left the game in obvious pain. Williams returned to non-contact practice this past Tuesday before participating in contact drills today.
The Nets are 2-11 since Williams first felt the injury and 18-27 overall, ranking them 9th in the Eastern Conference race, a half-game behind the Charlotte Hornets. The Nets have been looking for a trade partner to shed themselves of Williams’s contract (due to pay him $42 million over the next two seasons), but found few suitors beyond the Sacramento Kings, who also requested Mason Plumlee in any trade.