Nene remains uncertain about return

October 19, 2012

So, what day should I put in my calendar? (Tracy A. Woodward, Washington Post)

Nene is trying to stay optimistic but remains uncertain about when he will be able to return because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Sidelined since he aggravated the injury while representing Brazil in the London Olympics last August, Nene visited a foot specialist in Baltimore this week and received electric stimulation treatment for the nagging problem.

“I was a little behind, than I thought,” Nene said, when explaining the reason for the treatment. “It’s still inflamed. I just want to take care of it the right way. But all the exercises, I’ve been doing fine. I’ve been listening. I’ve been obedient.”

But that doesn’t mean he will be available when the Wizards open the regular season  Oct. 30 in Cleveland. When asked if that remained a possibility, Nene refused to make a commitment either way.

“I’m not going to say,” Nene said. “That’s the reason I don’t say. I don’t know. I want to, but sometimes it does not go the way you want. I just want to make sure I’m healthy to help my team because if I sit down again, that’s not good.”

Nene, John Wall (left knee) and Kevin Seraphin (right calf) all stayed behind to rehabilitate and receive treatment as the Wizards left for Milwaukee, where they will face the Bucks on Saturday.

Coach Randy Wittman has left it up to Nene to determine when he is able to play, but added that it would require several practices before he threw him on the floor.

“That’s up to him. I can’t tell a player when to play and when not to. That’s up to the player,” Wittman said. The medical staff is “going to tell me when it’s time to get on the floor. That’s when I see him down on the floor, to be honest with you. He’s amping up, doing more and more what he can do in terms of with the training staff. He went to Baltimore, like I said, and they liked what they saw and the progress he’s been making. And that’s all I can really go on in terms of that.”

Nene wants to take his time so that he doesn’t rush back and make the situation worse. He missed 10 games because of the same injury last season. He has played just 11 games since joining the Wizards in a deadline deal with Denver involving JaVale McGee last March.

“I’m getting there, man. I believe I’m making progress,” Nene said. “I just want to make sure I’m 100 percent because I don’t want this kind of injury again on a season.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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Michael Lee · October 19, 2012