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Nets' Brook Lopez has surgery on bent metal screw in his foot

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

Brook Lopez was able to do this while he had a bent screw in his foot. (USATSI)
Brook Lopez was able to do this while he had a bent screw in his foot. (USATSI)

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez had a breakout season in 2012-13. He averaged 19.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 52.1 percent from the field and sporting a PER of 24.7. The points, rebounds and field-goal percentage weren't career highs, but the fact that he did all this for a 49-win team that grabbed the fourth seed in the playoffs made it a pretty big deal.

In the playoffs, Lopez put up 22.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game against Joakim Noah as the Nets lost in seven games to the Chicago Bulls. Not only did Lopez have a really good series against one of the best defensive centers in the NBA, but he might have been doing it with a bent metal screw in his surgically repaired foot. The bent screw was revealed to the medical staff in a postseason physical, and he had surgery to replace the screw.

This was the third surgery that Lopez has had on his right foot in the past two years. He played in just five games during the 2011-12 season because of a stress fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. It didn't deter the Nets from giving Lopez a four-year, $60 million contract this past summer, a contract that many people felt was too much for a big man who doesn't rebound well or protect the paint consistently.

Lopez proved a lot of those concerns over his contract to be wrong this past season with his performance. While he didn't rebound as well as people would like, he protected the basket better than he ever has in his career and showed some real tangible promise on the defensive end. And Reggie Evans made up for a lot of the rebounding woes that Lopez would normally have.

Lopez is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the season and should resume basketball activities in August.

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