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Injuries bite at camp; Shabazz Napier, Alan Williams nicked

The Brooklyn Nets began training camp with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Dzanan Musa nursing injuries. They’ve been joined by Shabazz Napier and Alan Williams.

The Brooklyn Nets have not squashed the injury bug that affected the team all of last season.

With forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and rookie Dzanan Musa coming into camp nursing offseason injuries, the Nets had a couple of more players go down this week when Shabazz Napier injured his hamstring and Alan Williams sprained an ankle, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

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For a team that is banking on its improved depth this season, injuries that can turn into nagging problems can place a strain on the rotation.

Kenny Atkinson has used a deep rotation during his first two seasons as the Nets head coach, with no player averaging more than 30 minutes per game. Last season, nine different players who ended the year in Brooklyn averaged at least 20, however.

Hollis-Jefferson strained a left adductor early last month while dunking during a charity exhibition in China hosted by former Net Jeremy Lin.

Musa injured his ankle in a hard fall during a Sept. 16 FIBA World Cup European qualifying game for Bosnia and Herzegovina and has not practiced. According to Lewis’ report, Musa did individual work on Thursday.

RHJ’s activity is increasing each day and he may be ready to see some minutes during the preseason, perhaps as soon as Wednesday night’s preseason opener against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center.

There were no reports on the status of Napier or Williams, who were held out on Thursday.

Both are new additions this offseason. Napier on July 17 signed a two-year, $3.78 million contract that includes a team option for 2019-20.

He was an unrestricted free agent after spending the last two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, one of three teams he played for on his rookie deal. Napier was taken 24th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2014 NBA Draft, with his rights traded to the Miami Heat.

He was traded by the Heat to the Orlando Magic in July 2015 and in July 2016 was dealt to the Trail Blazers.

Williams joined the Nets on a two-way contract, officially signing Monday, after he was waived July 2 by the Phoenix Suns.

Williams went undrafted out of UC Santa Barbara in 2015 and signed with the Suns in March 2016, getting a 10-day contract after playing with Qingdao in the Chinese Basketball Association much of the season.

After spending all of 2016-17 in Phoenix, Williams tore his meniscus during training camp last season and was limited to just five games and 70 minutes.

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Williams had impressed early in camp with his rebounding skills. He has averaged 5.7 boards in just 13.6 minutes per game in 62 career appearances.

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