Nene sat out the final game of pool play for Brazil on Monday with soreness in his left foot, but the Wizards have been monitoring the injury and remain optimistic that it will not be a problem when training camp begins on Oct. 2, according to a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.
Nene is expected to be available on Wednesday when Brazil (4-1) plays Argentina in the quarterfinals. Brazilian Coach Ruben Magnano rested Nene against Spain, but his team still won, 88-82, in a game that it didn’t need to win and possibly set up a more difficult path for a medal. Brazil is seeking its first Olympic medal since 1964.
Magnano led his native Argentina to the gold medal in 2004 and Brazil, which finished second in Pool B behind Russia, is in the same bracket as heavily-favored Team USA. A loss would’ve put Brazil in a quarterfinal matchup against France and Nene’s Wizards teammate, Kevin Seraphin, and possibly Russia in the semifinals.
After playing his first game in London, Nene said the plantar fasciitis that bothered him shortly after he joined the Wizards at the trade deadline had flared up again. With the Olympics concluding on Sunday, the Wizards expect Nene to have ample time to rest and be ready for the upcoming season. Nene missed 10 consecutive games with the foot problem in April but returned to play the final five games, all Wizards victories.
Nene has averaged just 6.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in four games for Brazil, which features several current and former NBA players, including as Anderson Varejao, Tiago Splitter, Leandro Barbosa and Alex Garcia.
Seraphin and France will play Spain on Wednesday, setting up a rematch of the European championship, which Spain won last summer. Seraphin is averaging 6.8 points on 55.2 percent shooting and 3.8 rebounds for France.
France (4-1) finished second to Team USA in Group A and features Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw and former Wizard Ronny Turiaf, who started the first four games at center before sitting out a 79-73 win on Monday over Nigeria. Seraphin scored nine points starting in place of Turiaf and reached 10 points in two other games for France.