Nene, John Wall making progress

November 20, 2012

Nene, left, and John Wall could be nearing their return for the winless Wizards.

Nene was working on low-post moves with Wizards assistant Don Newman at the conclusion of an hour-long practice session on Tuesday when John Wall approached and asked for shot at stopping him. Wall pushed Nene in the back and Nene dropped back, dipped and hit a lefty hook. 

Newman encouraged Wall to step aside, then Wall walked away laughing. Wall walked up to Martell Webster and told him, “All you’ve got to do is push him. Just push him.” 

After participating in the past three practices, Nene is getting closer to making a return, depending on how his body – and his problematic left foot, in particular – responds. He explained on Sunday why he is slowly getting back into the fold.

“To see how my body respond. Right now, it’s sore, a little bit. I just try to control and do what I can do,” Nene said. “Step by step, getting there, getting better. I try to be positive and try to control what I can do.”

Coach Randy Wittman has deflected questions about when Nene will return. Since Nene has a pain threshold injury that has limited him for almost three months, the Wizards are leaving it up to him to get back. Although Nene said last week that he was “probably three weeks away,” he could return Wednesday in Atlanta or Saturday against Charlotte.

Wittman also doesn’t have a timetable for Wall, only that he won’t be back against the Hawks.

“Everything is good,” Wittman said of Wall. “Went to the doctor, Things are progressing. No setbacks, no things that look differently. Things are moving in the right direction in terms what they are seeing, the doctors. Each day he’s taking the step of increased rehab work. Nothing on the floor, but that’s a good thing.”

Forward Trevor Booker is questionable after suffering a strained right knee in the final 90 seconds of the Wizards’ 96-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Booker elevated for a layup and started limping immediately after landing. He had an MRI on Tuesday but said he should be okay. 

“I don’t know,” Wittman said. “He had some soreness today but obviously he wasn’t here at practice, missed today. I’m not anticipating either way.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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