Nene was traded from Denver for a number of reasons. Among them, his injuries which held him out constantly, and a perceived lack of effort. In Washington, he’s a huge part of what the Wizards want to do. They’re banking on him, especially with John Wall out two months.
Problem is, there’s no telling when he’s going to be back. Nene is dealing with plantar fasciitis, a very painful condition that can hamper a player for over a year. He’s been held out the entire preseason and in the beginning, it was “Oh, but he’ll be back for the season opener.” Now, of course, that’s not as much of a certainty but still a possibility. From the Washington Post:
“I was a little behind, than I thought,” Nene said, when explaining the reason for the treatment. “It’s still inflamed. I just want to take care of it the right way. But all the exercises, I’ve been doing fine. I’ve been listening. I’ve been obedient.”
But that doesn’t mean he will be available when the Wizards open the regular season Oct. 30 in Cleveland. When asked if that remained a possibility, Nene refused to make a commitment either way.
“I’m not going to say,” Nene said. “That’s the reason I don’t say. I don’t know. I want to, but sometimes it does not go the way you want. I just want to make sure I’m healthy to help my team because if I sit down again, that’s not good.”
The Wizards are paying Nene $13 million and have to have him contribute. He’s a huge part of this offense. But the problem with plantar fasciitis, we’ve been told, is that the only way to heal it is to stay off of it. For a long time. That’s exceptionally hard to do when, you know, you’re a basketball player. Maybe he’ll get it straight and start on opening night and all will be right with the world.
But on October 20th, it’s a worrisome situation for a franchise with enough to worry about.