Nene took time off after the season but began training with the Brazilian national team as it prepared for the London Olympics. He wasn’t at full strength in London, where he averaged seven points and eight rebounds in five games, sitting out a win over Spain with soreness in the same foot.
“It’s a privilege to be in the Olympics. To have that kind of experience in your career. . . is a big thing,” Nene said, adding that he was disappointed with his performance. “I knew I could do better. People don’t know when you go to the hotel room, for the physical therapy, how many times I cried in pain. They don’t know that.”
Nene rested once the Olympics ended, giving his foot the opportunity to heal properly. He has worked closely with Myerson and Thomas O. Clanton, an orthopedic surgeon at the the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., and is taking their advice to remain patient.
The Wizards knew they wouldn’t have Nene for training camp, but they did not place a timetable on his return. He experienced a minor setback last month and needed electronic stimulation to get back on track.
Nene recently started feeling sore as he increased his work load and has since backed off some. He’s now limited to lifting weights, riding the bike and running on an anti-gravity treadmill.
“A lot of motion irritates it a little bit, so I just need to slow down,” Nene said. “Playing a season, playing on it in the summer, that make a hard time to my foot. . . . I’ll be back. I believe God will have good things for me. That’s the reason I pay the hard price right now. He prepare good things for me.
“To be around the team, you try to push yourself, some time you don’t have the patience necessary to recover but we’re talking about my career. I need that straight,” said Nene, adding that until he returns, “we just need to stick together. Keep fighting. Keep playing and at the right time, I know God is going to bless us.”