Nets GM Billy King announced that Lopez has a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, but there is no timetable for his return as of now.
The injury occurred during the first half of the team's final preseason game last night against the New York Knicks.
This is a crippling blow to a team with high hopes heading into the season. Lopez, who has never missed a game in his three-year career, was the center of the trade talks surrounding Dwight Howard.
Any chance of the Nets landing Howard in the near future has just been erased, leaving the team in a dicey situation. Without its leading scorer, the team is a roster of mediocre role players and Deron Williams.
Look for the Nets, who just signed free agent DeShawn Stevenson, to actively pursue Andrei Kirilenko in order to shore up their rotation and keep Deron Williams satisfied.
Hopefully the timetable on Lopez is sometime before the trade deadline in March. If the Orlando Magic really do intend to wait until the deadline to deal Howard, there still may be a chance for the Nets to put together a trade and achieve their ultimate goal.
One must feel bad for Lopez, who worked so hard to improve his game, and seemed to be extremely excited about the idea of playing next to Williams for a full season.
Brandon Putre is a Featured Columnist for the New Jersey Nets. Follow him on Twitter @Cortezisreal
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