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Troy Murphy's Back Healing, Could Return To Nets' Lineup During First Week Of Season

Nets power forward Troy Murphy’s back injury may not be as serious as initially feared. Via Twitter, Al Iannazzone reports that Murphy “could play in the second or third game” unless he suffers “a setback.” Iannazzone’s projection would have Murphy back in the lineup for the game against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 29 or, more importantly, the matchup against the Miami Heat on Halloween.

New Jersey acquired Murphy from the Indiana Pacers in a four-team trade this summer, when it sent Courtney Lee to the Houston Rockets. The nine-year veteran has a unique combination of three-point range (39.4 percent) and rebounding prowess (8.6 per game in his career). He bolsters a position at which New Jersey is otherwise weak, with only raw rookie Derrick Favors, uneven youngster Kris Humphries, and fading veteran Joe Smith.