Monday September 29th, 2014

Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko is expected to miss at least a week with a back injury, the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy reports.

Kirilenko, 33, played the first day of training camp with the starters, but he sat out the second day when his back stiffened up. He missed 25 games last season with back spasms.

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He said he has dealt with a troublesome back for nearly a decade and will be cautious about his return.

"I've had (back issues) probably the last 7-8 years," the forward said. "I know the symptoms so I'm trying to be careful and be smart about it. But again, there's not much you can do about it."

Kirilenko averaged career-lows in scoring (5.0 ppg) and rebounding (3.2 rpg) last season, his first with the Nets.

The forward is ranked as the 85th-best player in the NBA in's Top 100 player rankings. He is joined on the list by teammates Joe Johnson (No. 51), Deron Williams (No. 45) and Brook Lopez (No. 36).

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Brooklyn hired Lionel Hollins in the offseason to be the team's new head coach after Jason Kidd left to join the Milwaukee Bucks. Kirilenko, who played a career-low 19 minutes per game last season, criticized Kidd after he left the team, saying he "couldn't handle" the pressure of coaching in New York. Johnson took a shot at Kidd's coaching during practice on media day when he said "we practiced, but, you know, not really."

The Nets reached the second round of the playoffs last season despite losing Lopez to a broken foot in December. Kirilenko is a candidate to start this season after Paul Pierce left to sign with the Washington Wizards during free agency.

Brooklyn opens the regular season on Oct. 7 against Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Nets start the regular season on Oct. 29 on the road against the Boston Celtics.

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- Paul Palladino

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