Nene practices but claims still 'sharp pain' in leg

Nene practices but claims still 'sharp pain' in leg
November 5, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Wall speaks on Wizards' inconsistent offense

Washington Wizards center Nene (42) post up against Charlotte Bobcats center Byron Mullens (22) during the second half at the Verizon Center. The Bobcats defeated the Wizards 108 - 106 in double overtime.

(Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE)

After getting an MRI on his left calf, Nene returned to practice Tuesday but the extent of his availability for the Wizards' game at the Philadelphia 76ers still isn't clear.

Wednesday's game at Wells Fargo Center tips on CSN at 7 p.m. ET. 

"I was smart to take the break because if I didn't stop I could ruin my Achilles," Nene said of the strain that he incurred Oct. 30 in the season-opener in Detroit. "I improved a lot on the injury but it's still (sore) a little bit. The good thing is I was able to practice. 

"The speed and the explosion is not there. I'm going to try, see how things are going. If I feel something sharp, I need to stop. That's what the doctor said yesterday."

Nene came down awkwardly on his left leg after a shot attempt but continued to play in that 113-102 loss to the Pistons. Although the Wizards had just traded for center Marcin Gortat, he didn't start in that game. Nene, who makes no secret that he doesn't like playing in the middle and wants to be at power forward, reiterated that he believes he's out of position.

"Before the trade happened, remember what I said about my body? I feel I was playing in a tough position. I said it before things happened," said Nene, who added he still felt discomfort in the leg at Tuesday's practice and had sore back and shoulders in training camp. 

"There's sharp pain, when I try to push myself, just a little bit. That's why I say I can't be crazy ... I need to do it at my pace. Give my best. Try to help. All those things are going to be in the coach's hands. In the trainer's hands to decide if I got to go or not. I can help now. How? We'll see. ... I can't start playing the whole game at the five."

Coach Randy Wittman stopped short of declaring that Nene would play against the Sixers. He said previously that his 7-footer would be in the lineup before a game only to learn just before tip-off he wouldn't be suiting up. 

Trevor Booker, who has started at power forward in all three games, dislocated the index finger on his left (shooting) hand against Miami and didn't return in the fourth quarter. He practiced fully Tuesday. John Wall hasn't had any recurrences with back spasms since being limited in the second half of the home opener with the Sixers last week.

"Nene, probably for sure is game-time (decision), but we'll see how he reacts. Book is going to be fine if I had to guess," Wittman said. "Now I've been way wrong before."

Even if Nene doesn't want to play under the basket, Wittman insists he'll have to gut it out.

"He's still going to have to play some. With Marcin here now he'll be able to play some at the four. There's going to be rotation time where he's going to be there," Wittman said. "More times than not, when you're playing the five position guarding a four anyway. There's not a lot of big bruisers out there anymore that you have to worry about banging with."

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