Cam Thomas inching toward return in welcome development for Nets

Cam Thomas Nets
Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) shoots the ball under pressure from Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (20) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)

Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas is nearing a return from an ankle sprain that has kept him sidelined since Nov. 8.

The Nets announced last week that Thomas has made significant progress in his recovery and is all in an attempt to join the team once again. After missing each of the last eight games entering Tuesday night’s action, it seems like Thomas is on the homestretch. Although his recovery has been speedy, it’s still debatable where to pinpoint the timetable for his return, but the resumption of basketball activities are on the very near horizon.

Thomas’ team-leading 26.9 points per game this season would be ninth in the league if he qualified — he’s quickly developed into a talent to carry Brooklyn. Without Thomas in the court, it doesn’t add any help that Cam Johnson has been dealing with cramping in his right leg.

Nic Claxton is out with a left ankle sprain and has also missed the previous eight games. The fifth-year center has provided an imposing presence down low as he’s been ranked third in the NBA in blocks with an average of 2.7 per game.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) dribbles the ball against Brooklyn Nets’ Nic Claxton in the first half during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs, Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Philadelphia.AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

Guard Dennis Smith is right behind them with a lower back sprain. He has sat out four games while Ben Simmons is still out with a nerve impingement on his lower back.

Prior to Tuesday’s NBA In-Season Tournament game against the Toronto Raptors, the Nets were 8-8 — no small feat given the strength of their schedule and the injuries that have impacted them.

“[Head coach Jacque Vaughn] has been preaching depth since the beginning. We have a bunch of guys,” guard Spencer Dinwiddie said (h/t New York Post). “We still got CT [Thomas] out. Cam [Johnson] left the game kind of early,” Spencer Dinwiddie said. “But just across the board … we’ve got a bunch of guys that can really play well and be impactful. And we’re looking forward to being in full health.” 

For more on the Nets and Cam Thomas, visit AMNY.com and TheBrooklynGame.com