Andrei Kirilenko may be returning to action sooner than previously believed

Kirilenko has only played in four of the Nets' 23 games this season due to severe back spasms. He hasn't appeared in a game since November 8th.

When the Brooklyn Nets signed Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year deal worth only around $3 million this summer, they expected a consistent defender and decent bench scorer. However, they've only gotten that version of Kirilenko for four games this season, as the Russian native–who spent much of his career with the Jazz and Deron Williams–has been dealing with back spasms since the beginning of the season.

Although he has only played in games few and far between, Kirilenko is a crucial part of the 2013-14 Brooklyn Nets, as Jason Kidd was relying on him to sure up the Nets' bench defense and add some size and scoring ability as well. He certainly hasn't given the team either of those things so far, but he might in the upcoming weeks.

According to Kirilenko and Nets' GM Billy King via Nets Daily, the small forward might make his return to action by Christmas, which would come close to the timeline Andrei established for himself. King, in the article, tweeted out a picture of AK working out at the Nets' practice facility a few days ago, only reinforcing the idea that he is almost at game shape.

We don't know anything for sure yet, but it looks likely that we'll see Kirilenko suit up in the near future, an occurrence that would only benefit a snakebitten Nets team that has been playing better recently. With AK back in the lineup and Brook Lopez back at center–but without Jason Terry, who is still out with a knee injury–Brooklyn will nearly be at full strength and should have the ability to compete up to its lofty preseason expectations.

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, since birth. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18