Nene avoids significant injury to left foot

Nene avoids significant injury to left foot
September 30, 2013, 5:45 pm
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Washington Wizards center Nene drives through New York Knicks power forward Kenyon Martin.

(Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Nene hasn't felt this good in a long time, but the third day of training camp could've been a disaster for the Wizards who already are missing four players because of injuries. 

Kevin Seraphin came down on Nene's troubled left foot which caused him to miss all of training camp last season and the first nine regular-season games.

Nene was sore afterwards Monday, but doesn't expect it to limit him as the Wizards continue working out at George Mason University.

"My knee is swelling a little bit, almost twisted my ankle on Kevin's foot but that's a part of training camp," said Nene, who is participating with this team for the first time since being traded here during the 2011-12 season. 

Nene left the court to assess his foot but quickly returned. 

Coach Randy Wittman isn't overreacting even though he's already missing Emeka Okafor (herniated disk) and Chris Singleton (foot surgery). For the third consecutive day, top rookie draft pick Otto Porter (hip flexor) and Trevor Booker (sore knee) didn't practice. Trevor Ariza had to get treatment to his left calf but it appears to be precautionary.

"I'm always concerned with this team," Wittman said about his team's health, with a laugh. "I have dreams about this team."

As Wittman sees it, Nene going full-tilt each day is an encouraging sign. He never felt like his 7-footer was in form at any point last season. While John Wall got better after his knee kept him out of the first 33 games, Nene fizzled. He missed 21 games in all and struggled to be effective down the stretch because of his foot and soreness in both knees. 

"Last year was tough not only for John but (Nene) for conditioning, getting your legs underneath you, being able to be the player he's capable of being," Wittman said. "I don't think he ever was able to do that last year. These three days for him, I see a different Nene than I saw last year because of the fighting through injuries, not playing, probably not being in the best condition basketball-wise."