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Posted at 02:49 PM ET, 04/13/2012

Wizards’ Nene getting closer, still not ready to return

Nene was in warm-ups and going through light drills with his teammates during Friday’s morning shootaround, but Coach Randy Wittman ruled out having him – or Trevor Booker – play against the New York Knicks. Nene has missed the past seven games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, but he has been angling for a return before the season ends.

I want to come back soon. (Evan Vucci - AP)
“He’s getting closer. He did a little bit yesterday, but not a whole lot. That’s a positive,” Wittman said.. “Obviously we’re headed in the right direction right now. It looks like we might [have him back soon]. Probably not today or tomorrow. Maybe some time next week. We’ll see.”

Booker is a little farther behind. He watched the morning practice on the bench in street clothes. “His is still not to the point where he can get out and do any running,” Wittman said of Booker.

Neither player is expected to play Saturday against Cleveland. The Wizards will continue to rely more on James Singleton, who has averaged 16 points and 9.7 rebounds in his past three games. Singleton’s 10-day contract expires Sunday but he was never concerned about getting another one – which he assuredly has earned.

“It’s all basketball. You’re here for 10 days, here for two days, just play basketball and have fun,” Singleton said. “I’m just feeding off of the guys, because some of the plays I don’t know. Only thing I can do is set a screen for one of them, get to the open spot and just play basketball.

Wittman said Singleton has obviously improved from his previous stint with the Wizards two years ago. “He’s more composed, playing at a better speed. Sometimes, he was too fast while he was out there,” Wittman said.

Singleton told reporters Thursday that the experience he gained in China has helped his game immensely. “I’m way different. I was just a rebound, defender, hard-nosed. Now, I don’t have any kind of weakness in my game, offensively or defensively. It helped a ton. Helped me mentally, and helped me physically. I learned how to adjust to bad plays, knowing when to score, knowing when to pass. I have a better IQ.”

By  |  02:49 PM ET, 04/13/2012

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