When Deron Williams crumpled to the floor writhing in pain early in the first quarter with yet another ankle injury, it looked like the Nets would be without their floor general for quite some time to come.
But after X-rays were negative on Williams’ sprained left ankle, he appeared following the Nets’ 100-98 overtime win over the Suns without crutches or a walking boot, and said the sprain shouldn’t take as long to heal as the one that kept him out for virtually all of training camp.

“Not even close,” Williams said when asked to compare it to his previous sprain. “The other one is an inside ankle sprain … totally different. It shouldn’t be too bad.”

It looked like it was only going to be bad news for Williams when he fell to the ground with 7:20 to go in the first quarter and immediately grabbed for his left ankle — previously the healthy one — after landing on the foot of Suns center Miles Plumlee.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “That’s the only way to describe it. I’m sick of being injured, sick of being hurt. I just want to be healthy so I can help my team.”

There was no timetable given for Williams’ return from his latest setback, which also is the latest in a series of ankle injuries for the team’s $100 million point guard going back to last season. Williams sprained his right ankle, and also suffered a corresponding bone bruise, during a workout in Utah in early September and subsequently missed virtually the entire preseason, only playing about 10 minutes in the team’s exhibition finale in Miami on Oct. 25.

Last season, Williams received three separate rounds of cortisone injections, as well as a round of platelet-rich plasma treatment, to help treat inflammation in both ankles.