Nene's foot woes has Wizards taking 'cautious' approach

Nene's foot woes has Wizards taking 'cautious' approach
September 25, 2012, 8:45 pm
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No doubt a good chunk of the Wizards winning turnaroundwhile closing out the last campaign stemmed from the addition of Nene. Well, that and the subtraction of a few others. Still, much of the promise of a playoff push this season comes from having the Brazilian big man for a full season.Just don't assume he and his gimpy left foot will be ready for the start of training camp next week. "Well see. Were going to be very, very cautious with him," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said at his pre-training camp press conference on Tuesday. "Nene aggravated his plantar fasciitis situation during the Olympics, I think everybody knows that."Everybody also should remember that for all of Nene's value on and off the court for the chemistry-lacking Wizards last season, he missed 14 of 25 games including a stretch of 10 straight with foot issues. With the bruising 6-foot-11 presence locked in as the focal point for a deep frontcourt, the Wizards will practice patience at leastuntil the games turn real. Training camp starts Oct. 2 at George Mason University. After eight preseason games, the regular season tips off on Oct. 30 at Cleveland."He hasnt had much time to rest this summer because of the commitment that he had to his national team," Grunfeld noted. "Were going to be very cautious, and were going to take it very slow with him and make sure that hes 100 percent when we put him out there full time. But we expected him to be ready for the regular season for sure. We will be very cautious with him."The Wizards acquired Nene at the training deadline in mid-March, a move that sent JaVale McGee and Nick Young to Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers respectively. Washington won eight of its final 10 games last season, including the last six, to finish with a 20-46 record.The just-turned 30-year-old is the Wizards projected starting power forward or center, depending on how one viewsnewly acquired veteran Emeka Okafor and third-year player Kevin Seraphin. How Wizards coach Randy Wittman plans on using his interior trio is one of the key questions entering the season.The short-termissue is simply when Nene joins his fellow bigs on the Patriot Center court and for how long."Well just have to wait and see," Grunfeld said. "He probably wont go two-a-days and go full in practice early in season. It just depends on how he develops. He knows his body very well, and we have all the confidence in the world in him coming back and helping us, just like he did last year."