Nene suffers left calf injury in Wizards opener, unlikely to practice Thursday
Wizards center Nene suffered a left calf injury in Washington’s season opener Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons and is uncertain for Friday’s matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 31-year-old Brazilian was seen limping as he left the locker room, according to CSN Washington’s J. Michael, and “it looks unlikely that Nene will be a full participant, if at all” for Thursday’s practice. He suffered the injury after coming down awkwardly with all of his weight on his left leg in Wednesday’s loss to the Pistons, finishing with 12 points and three rebounds in 30 minutes.
In his place, should he be sidelined, the recently acquired Marcin Gortat will get his first start for the Wizards. Gortat was traded to the Wizards last week in a deal that sent Emeka Okafor — another oft-injured big man — to the Phoenix Suns.
Gortat, who only practiced three times with the Wizards before their regular season opener, was likely going to be inserted into the starting lineup sooner or later but now it appears he will perhaps be given that opportunity on Friday when Washington plays host to the Sixers.
Nene’s calf injury should be considered somewhat concerning as he has been plagued by chronic knee and leg injuries throughout his career. He missed the beginning of last season because of a tissue injury in his left foot, appearing in 61 games overall for the Wizards and averaging 12.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists.