Winless Wizards expect to have Nene against Blazers

Winless Wizards expect to have Nene against Blazers
November 27, 2012, 5:45 pm
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Washington Wizards center Nene (42) dribbles the ball against the Charlotte Bobcats during the second half at the Verizon Center. The Bobcats defeated the Wizards 108 - 106 in double overtime.


For a team looking to cling to any positive developments, the Wizards saw two of them Tuesday when veteran center Nene and veteran point guard Shaun Livingston participated in a full practice at Verizon Center.

Both players sat out Monday night’s blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs -- Nene with soreness in his left foot and Livingston with a bruised right shoulder. Both are expected to be in the lineup Wednesday night when the 0-12 Wizards host the 6-8 Portland Trail Blazers.

The Wizards will not have forward Trevor Booker [right knee sprain] for the third straight game and guard John Wall [stress injury to right knee] will sit out for the 13th straight game.

Booker took some soft hook shots following Tuesday’s practice and Wall participated in a spirited shooting contest with teammates Cartier Martin, Bradley Beal and Martell Webster.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman would not give a timetable for either player’s return.

“I’ve gotten to the point with all of our injuries that I just tell them to come get me when you’re ready,” he said. “That’s all I can do.

[“Booker] hasn’t practiced. He’s not going to show up and I’m going to stick him in a game [Wednesday]. He’s missed some time, but he’s got to show me he can get up and down the floor in the manner that Book has to play.”

At the time Wall was diagnosed with a stress injury to his right knee cap, his return was tentatively scheduled for eight weeks. That would have been on Black Friday. Wall seems to be progressing and is now launching himself into the air for jump shots.

Wittman said Wall has not yet run the floor in practice and until he does he can’t give a projected date for a return.

“Progress is being made,” Wittman said. “No setbacks. Nothing has come back [from doctors] in the last couple of weeks. It’s been status quo, always been a step forward, so that’s a good sign.”

The Wizards are hoping the return of Nene can result in their first victory of the season. In his two games since returning from plantar fasciitis the 6-foot-11, 250-pound big man has averaged a team-high 15.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Nene logged 29 minutes in the Wizards’ double-overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday and was forced to sit out Monday night’s loss to the Spurs. Livingston was also a casualty of Saturday’s loss to Charlotte. He injured his right shoulder and jarred loose a tooth when he dived for a loose ball.

“It was a freak play,” he said. “I just ate the ground, banged my mouth up and kind of went down on my shoulder as well. A double whammy.”

Livingston said his front tooth is still loose and he’ll likely wear a mouth guard Wednesday night.  

“Another elbow or something and it might come out,” he said.