Wake-up call: Wizards anticipate on-time return for Nene

Wake-up call: Wizards anticipate on-time return for Nene
March 26, 2014, 6:00 am
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Out since Feb. 23 because of a left knee ligament strain, Nene is on pace to come back on time for the final week of the regular season. While he's not doing contact drills on the court, he's training hard and can be seen wearing headphones and hitting the weight room.

"He's doing good. Progressing well," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of the Brazilian, who is projected to be out for six weeks. "He's doing stuff on the AlterG (anti-gravity treadmill) now, running and stuff. He's moving in the right direction. No setbacks. Everyghing is moving good. We're encouraged with that."

Trevor Booker has replaced Nene in the starting lineup. The Wizards (36-34) are 8-6 without him and won't have Nene for their toughest remaining stretch of the season: Wednesday vs. the Phoenix Suns (CSN, 7 p.m. ET), Friday vs. the Indiana Pacers (CSN, 7), Saturday vs. the Atlanta Hawks (CSN, 8) and Monday at the Charlotte Bobcats (CSN, 7).

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Then the Wizards play vs. the Boston Celtics on April 2, at the New York Knicks on April 4 and vs. the Chicago Bulls on April 5.  

The next day represents the six-week mark for Nene and the Wizards should have at least clinched a playoff berth by then. Based on the way the season has gone, the seeding still could be on the line.