Although Nene practiced Friday morning, he was a game-time scratch vs. the New York Knicks and missed his second game in a row for the Wizards.
Instead of Trevor Booker, who started Wednesday when a shoulder injury kept out the power forward, Chris Singleton got the starting nod Friday.
Nene hurt his shooting arm in Monday's 90-84 win at the Toronto Raptors.
Nene is one of the few low-post players for the Wizards who can create his own shot, but the Wizards (18-38) need him every bit as much for his defensive presence. The transition and low-post defense were woeful without him in Wednesday's 96-95 loss to the Detroit Pistons which ended the Wizards' three-game winning streak. Booker started in that game because he was a better matchup against Jason Maxiell.
Nene now has missed 15 games, including being sidelined by a ligament injury in his foot to start the season.
Singleton will draw the initial assignment on Knicks leading scorer Carmelo Anthony. They have been trying to work through Anthony more in the low post.
"It doesn't change anything," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said about Nene not playing Friday. "Offensively we've been trying to establish Amar'e (Stoudemire) and Melo when we can down low to give us an inside presence."
Bradley Beal, who missed the Wizards' Feb. 6 win vs. the Knicks because of a sprained right shooting wrist, fell hard on a drive to the basket vs. the Detroit and could be seen favoring it. Beal, however, said he won't miss any time as a result.
The Wizards are 7-5 this month. The Knicks (34-20) are 6-5.