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Injuries to Wall, Nene Not Affecting Wizards
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 2, 2012 @ 7:05 am In All,Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
With the regular season opener in a month, the Washington Wizards reported to training camp on Monday afternoon following media day at Verizon Center in which the sobering reality that point guard John Wall and center Nene won’t be on the court tempered optimism for a fresh start.
Wall, the first pick of the 2010 draft, is expected to miss eight weeks with a stress injury that could turn into a fracture in his left patella, the Wizards announced last week. Nene, meantime, revealed his recovery from plantar fasciitis in his left foot is moving along cautiously.
“Well, I don’t give a specific time,” Nene said when asked if he thought he could be back before the conclusion of the one-week training camp at George Mason. “I’m going to control my actions and go to therapy and rest and do whatever I possibly can to get well.”
The Wizards committed $52 million to Nene over the next four years after he endured a pair of significant setbacks during his career. Nene played three minutes in 2005-06 following a right knee injury and, two seasons later, testicular cancer forced him to miss all but 16 games.
In an effort to fortify the front and alleviate some of the burden from Nene, the Wizards in June added center Emeka Okafor and forward Trevor Ariza in exchange for Rashard Lewis and a second-round pick.
“Whenever you have injuries, they’re tough, but they’re part of the game,” said Okafor, one of eight players not on the roster at the start of last season who’s expected to contribute considerably this year.
Of Washington’s top five scorers from last season, only Jordan Crawford will be participating in training camp when it begins in earnest on Tuesday. Gone are leading scorer Nick Young and JaVale McGee, who was fifth in scoring. Wall was the Wizards’ second leading scorer and Nene fourth.
“There’s been a lot of good changes, and it brings a good vibe here,” Crawford said. “You can kind of feel it today. Everybody’s excited, from [the media] to the players. [Wall’s injury] is a setback because he’s a major component to the team, but it’s time for everybody to step up until he’s back.”
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