Denver Nuggets F Nene is likely out for the season after an MRI exam showed he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in the season opener, the team announced yesterday. The MRI also revealed a medial collateral ligament sprain and a lateral meniscus tear in the knee.

Nene was helped off the court during the first quarter of Tuesday's 102-91 loss to San Antonio. He fell while the Spurs' Tim Duncan stole the ball from him.

"I was excited about Nene all summer long, he's been working hard," Coach George Karl told Denver station KUSA-TV. "You know, I'm sad for him."

It's the second straight season the Nuggets have lost a player in the season opener. Last year, they lost Voshon Lenard, who missed 79 games after tearing his Achilles' tendon.

Nene, in his fourth NBA season, averages 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Linas Kleiza (Montrose Christian) was activated for the home opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.

* SUNS: Phoenix signed rookie F Sharrod Ford (Gwynn Park) and waived Brazilian rookie Lucas Tischer.

The 6-foot-9 Ford, who was not drafted out of Clemson, played eight games for San Antonio in the preseason, averaging 2.5 points and 1.1 blocks in 12.5 minutes. He was released by the NBA champions on Oct. 26.

* BULLS: Chicago waived forward Kasib Powell, trimming its roster to 14.

-- From News Services