Nic Claxton returns to Nets lineup, talks mystery illness

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After missing over five weeks, Nic Claxton is set to finally make his return to the court Friday night against Minnesota.

“It’s been a long few weeks. What, maybe five, six weeks. So definitely excited,” said Claxton, who hasn’t played since an Oct. 25 victory over Washington with a non-COVID illness. “I’m not sure how many minutes I’ll get, but I’ll be ready for whatever, and ready to just suit up with the guys again.”

Claxton – who began the season as the starting center for the Nets’ first three games – came off the bench in the fourth and then missed 17 straight. But when asked the hardest part of his layoff, he didn’t pick watching from the bench or the fatigue or difficulty breathing. No, he said it was the weight loss, looking in the mirror and seeing his already-lithe 6-foot-11 frame get even skinnier.

Nic Claxton is back in the Nets lineup.
Nic Claxton is back in the Nets lineup.
Corey Sipkin

“The toughest part was just honestly just losing weight, and looking at yourself in the mirror and I was just so small,” said Claxton. “But I’m back now. I’m back in shape and ready to get back in game shape.”

Claxton wouldn’t confirm or deny recent reports that he had mono, preferring to just say it was an “undisclosed” illness. But after practicing with G League Long Island, it’s also an illness he’s put behind him.

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