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Caris LeVert says comeback game felt unreal

Caris LeVert’s season was supposed to be over. Instead, less than three months after suffering a gruesome right foot injury that some believed might hinder his career going forward, the Brooklyn Nets guard was back on the floor for his team’s game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

And though the Nets lost to an objectively inferior opponent, LeVert wasn’t going to let that outcome completely spoil the good vibes he’s feeling after playing for the first time since dislocating his right foot.

“It almost didn’t feel real,” he said of his return, per Anthony Puccio of SB Nation. “It went by kind of fast for me honestly, and even leading up to today’s game it just felt that three months went by kind of fast.”

LeVert suffered the injury while jumping to contest rookie guard Josh Okogie at the rim in a November 12th loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Though the Nets refused to put a firm timeline on his potential return to the floor, they left open the possibility he would be able to play again in 2018-19.

The third-year guard was one of the most pleasant surprises of the season’s early going, averaging 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game on 47.5 percent shooting while playing dogged perimeter defense. Most assumed the Nets’ playoff hopes ended with his extended absence, but Kenny Atkinson’s team has instead withstood additional injuries to key players like Spencer Dinwiddie to currently rank sixth in the Eastern Conference at 29-28.

LeVert played 15 minutes off the bench on Friday, stuffing the stat sheet with 11 points, four assists, and five steals on 5-of-11 shooting. Assuming he gets back up to game speed and shows no ill-effects from his injury, it seems only a matter of time until LeVert joins All-Star D’Angelo Russell as a starter in the backcourt, giving Brooklyn one of the league’s most exciting young guard tandems.