Nene took the practice floor for some serious work Monday, and even though his right knee still has soreness he’s believes there’s a chance to play against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.
“Worked out a little bit. My knee’s a little swollen,” Nene said. “I understand I’m a young old guy. … My body is feeling that.”
His workout Monday was the most intense he has had since going out March 23 when he played only 24 minutes in a loss at the Golden State Warriors.
But what happened in the NCAA tournament on Sunday confirmed Nene's reluctance to get back on the court before he feels ready.
Kevin Ware of Louisville had a gruesome leg injury in a regional final game of the NCAA tournament. He broke the lower portion as it bent a 90-degree angle and the bone came through the skin. Ware required surgery and will keep him out at least a year.
“I don’t know how many minutes I’m going to play,” Nene said of the Bulls game. “But I told them if I don’t feel safe to jump, people around to push you off, I don’t feel comfortable (I won’t play). That’s an example of what happens. It’s tragic.”
Coach Randy Wittman is optimistic as well.
“He’s getting close,” he said. “He worked out hard today. We’ll see how he is in the morning.”
Even if Nene doesn't play vs. the Bulls, Wittman expects him to be on the court sooner than later.
“I’m anticipating that,” Wittman said. “Yes.”