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November 24, 2005 -- SACRAMENTO — While admitting to significant gains for both Vince Carter and Jason Collins, the Nets held out their two ailing starters for last night's 114-105 loss to the Kings. While caution won out last night, both players are expected to play in Phoenix tomorrow. "I think both of them will be back shortly. You're always concerned when someone is hurt, but based on [our] information, it doesn't look like something that's serious, nagging, anything like that," said coach Lawrence Frank. "Always with an injury you're going to go on the side of caution."

"I feel light years better than I did," said Carter, who strained a muscle in his mid-back Monday at Golden State and tested himself pre-game here before the decision was made to sit him. "I couldn't [stretch] to my left at all [Monday]. Tuesday, when I bent to the left, it would kind of stretch a little bit. So it goes farther and farther each day. . . . I am not saying it doesn't hurt, but we'll see."

Collins seemed one step away from the embalming fluid Tuesday, but additional tests at Stanford uncovered the source for the pain in his lower right leg. Collins received injections after doctors determined the source of the pain as an inflammation of the peroneal nerve on the right side of the knee, which was what trainer Tim Walsh had diagnosed.

"I feel a lot better," said Collins, who claimed the shots "to the nerve and the surrounding area of the nerve brought me instant help. Now it is just a little bit of tightness. It wasn't like they did one [injection], it was a needle here, a needle here, a needle here, to cover the whole area. There is tightness from all the needles. But it is feeling good."

Collins said he would be ready "definitely by Friday." With the two put on the inactive list, the Nets activated rookie Antoine Wright for the first time, along with Linton Johnson III. Jeff McInnis started for Carter and Cliff Robinson continued starting for Collins.
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