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REPORT: Nets fear Caris LeVert has ligament damage in thumb

Caris LeVert, Nets

For the second straight year, Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert appears to be headed for a lengthy absence due to injury.

LeVert suffered what was thought to be a minor thumb sprain in the second quarter of Brooklyn’s loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. He was an early scratch ahead of Tuesday’s contest against the Utah Jazz, but now LeVert is on the verge of a longer absence.

The Nets fear that LeVert sustained ligament damage, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This is very unwelcome news for the Nets. LeVert had been one of the most productive players on the floor through the first nine games, averaging 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while serving as an excellent complementary playmaker to Kyrie Irving in the first unit.

Brooklyn has struggled to get into a rhythm as a team, dropping to 4-6 on the year after Tuesday’s loss to the Jazz. Although they rank third in the league in scoring and fourth in terms of pace, they are 29th in opponents scoring.

LeVert’s absence may present an opportunity to find some more cohesiveness on the defensive side of the ball. Although he stuffed the stat sheet, LeVert also had a defensive rating of 115 through nine games, according to Basketball-Reference.

The 25-year-old played in just 40 games last year due to a leg injury, and he was an inconsistent shell of his former self when he returned in February.

Brooklyn will search for answers in LeVert’s absence, most notably in the form of Iman Shumpert.