The Wizards open training camp Sept. 29, but most of the 15-man roster already has begun preliminary work at Verizon Center. Coach Randy Wittman recently talked to CSN Washington about the task ahead for a team that only won 29 games last season and hasn't made the playoffs since 2008 but is expected to turn this around.
Monday's key question: Will Nene be eased back into the picture or will he be pushed full-speed ahead? The 7-footer spent the summer rehabilitating from various injuries, both shoulders, both knees and his left foot, as he split his off-season between homes in Denver and Brazil. In April, I asked Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld the same question about easing back Nene and he said that they'd consider it.
Wittman: "He got in town Aug. 30. He's been on the floor. He feels good. He's had a whole summer where he didn't have to worry about the pounding and the stuff he did last summer having the injuries he did and having to play on the (Brazil) national team and never gave his body a chance to recover. He's feeling good. He looks good. I'm pretty pleased with that. I anticipate him being ready to go. When did we play our last game? Five months ago? He's done a lot of good work this summer, not only from a rest standpoint but from physical therapy. He's built his strength back up. I anticipate we'll head into the season with no restrictions."
Of course, the Wizards' medical staff will be consulted on these matters but it's a good sign if Nene passes the eye test with Wittman.