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Joe Johnson out Sunday for Nets against Suns

Mar 24, 2013, 8:12 PM EST

Joe Johnson, J.R. Smith

PHOENIX — Joe Johnson will miss Sunday night’s game against the Suns due to soreness in his right quad, Nets head coach P.J. Carlesimo told reporters about 90 minutes before tip-off.

Johnson suffered the contusion in the third quarter of the Nets’ loss to the Clippers on Saturday and finished the game, but the condition apparently worsened overnight.

Keith Bogans will get the start in Johnson’s place.

Johnson has been bothered by a plantar fascia injury to his left heel since just before the All-Star break, and his numbers have been affected. He has largely played through the pain, however, appearing in 10 of his team’s last 14 games.

While the quad injury is a new one, Carlesimo expressed concern due to the way Johnson’s overall play has been affected.

“I’m concerned because he’s come back and he’s not healthy yet,” he said of Johnson playing through injury. “I just think that it’s very similar to what we saw with [Deron Williams]. You saw the difference when Deron came back, and he’s felt the best he’s felt all year. It made a big difference.”

Carlesimo said he simply wants Johnson healthy so he can return to playing at the level the Nets are accustomed to seeing.

“Joe has not said … every time I ask Joe how he feels, he says it’s OK,” Carlesimo said. “Again, he wants to play, which is good, and he doesn’t want to use that as an excuse. I think that if you look at the numbers and you look at what Joe’s done since the injury, it’s not the same Joe. We need to get Joe Johnson back healthy. I think if he’s healthy, then he’ll play the way Joe Johnson plays.”

Johnson is averaging 16.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 37.2 minutes per game this season.

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