Washington Wizards center Nene’s status for the start of training camp next Tuesday remains in doubt after his plantar fasciitis flared up during the Olympics, team president Ernie Grunfeld said in a news conference today at Verizon Center.
Playing for Brazil, Nene’s condition apparently became acute during a game against Australia. Nene scored 10 points and added seven rebounds in a 75-71 win in the opening round but walked with a slight limp after the game.
“He hasn’t had must time to rest this summer because of the commitment he had to his national team,” Grunfeld said of Nene, who missed a game in the Olympics because of soreness in his left foot. “So we’re going to be very, very cautious. We’re going to take it very slow with him and make sure he’s 100 percent when we put him out there full time.”
Nene has averaged 6.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in four games for Brazil and missed 10 consecutive games for the Wizards with the foot problem in April but returned to play the final five games, all victories.
In 11 games with the Wizards, Nene helped the team go 7-4 and outscore opponents by 10.3 points in the games he played. The Wizards led by double digits in the second half of three of those games before losing in the final minute.
Nene, who came to Washington from Denver in a three-team deal at the trade deadline, averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebound while playing less than 27 minutes per game for the Wizards.
“We expect him to be ready for the regular season, for sure,” Grunfeld said. “But we will be very cautious with him.”