Nene didn't only play for the Wizards on Tuesday, he was in the starting lineup despite a sore right knee.
It might have been for one night only, however, and the Wizards also may have lost rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal again because of a re-injured left ankle.
After missing the last four games, Nene contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a 90-86 victory against the Chicago Bulls. It was the Wizards' eight consecutive home victory.
Nene told CSN Washington after the game that he was in pain and could have a different role at the Toronto Raptors, if he plays at all, on Wednesday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
"It's still sore. It's hurting a little bit. It's swelling a little bit. It was good to be back. I just want to finish (the season) strong," Nene said. "I don't believe it's going to be worse. If it gets worse I'm going to definitely sit down."
He practiced hard Monday and played 28 minutes Tuesday.
"It's going to be tough. I don't know," he said of playing in Toronto. "It's going to be really tough for me to play 20 minutes or more. Three days straight? I practiced yesterday hard. ... Let's see."
Nazr Mohammed tied the score at 86 with 56.6 seconds left and the Wizards took a timeout.
When they returned, John Wall initiated the action, feeding Nene in the post. Chicago's defense collapsed on him and he dumped an interior pass to Emeka Okafor the dunk. The Bulls couldn't regain lead.
"The defense paid attention to me. I told Emeka ... to be more aggressive and that worked," Nene said.
Noticeably absent was Beal, who had scored a game-high 24 points for the Wizards on Sunday. Beal missed five games with a sprained left ankle, and it appeared to hinder him Tuesday after a hard spill in the first half.
He left the floor with 7:58 left in the game and didn't return, finishing with eight points on 3-for-11 shooting.
"It was bothering me when I was warming up," Beal said of the ankle he originally sprained in a game March 3. "When I had that fall that's really when it started hurting the most. I was definitely favoring it in the second half. I told coach if he sees me limping any time, doing anything not helping the team just take me out. I didn't have a problem with it at all. The moment it happened I was like 'dang.' I didn't roll my ankle. It's just the impact of how I hit that ground that really bothered it."
Beal didn't sound optimistic about playing Wednesday. He missed 11 of 13 games because of the sprain.
"I doubt it," he said. "It just depends on how I feel tomorrow. I wouldn't guarantee you anything."