Nene Injury: Updates on Wizards Forward's Knee Sprain and Return

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2014

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Updates from Wednesday, April 9

The Wizards announce Nene will return to the lineup Wednesday night:

Updates from Monday, Mar. 24

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Nene is expected back in the lineup after the first week of April.

Updates from Monday, Feb. 24

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has the latest on Nene's injury:

Original Text

One night after dropping 30 points on the New Orleans Pelicans, Nene was forced to leave the Washington Wizards' Sunday night game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third quarter. Before exiting, he had eight points, four rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes. 

The team later confirmed that the Brazilian big man sprained his left knee:

Rick Noland of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram provided an update after the game:

Michael Lee of The Washington Post passed along a statement from teammate Marcin Gortat:

Nene is a huge loss for the Wizards. The 31-year-old is averaging 14.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in 30.3 minutes per game this season, and gives the team a second interior presence alongside Gortat. 

Jan 15, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Nene (42) celebrates with Wizards power forward Trevor Booker (35) against the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 114-97. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Al Harrington should all see an uptick in minutes with Nene out, but all of them represent a steep drop-off in terms of production. Booker, the most likely candidate to slide into the starting lineup, gives Washington some toughness inside, but is undersized at the 4 and has a limited offensive skill set. 

Simply put, the longer Nene is out, the more the Wizards' chances of getting home-court advantage for the playoffs will suffer. They are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, but are within striking distance of the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors