Well, our worst fears may have been realized today.
Nene suffered a left knee sprain mid-way through the third quarter last night, and the team is reportedly worried he may miss the rest of the season--according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
There is a fear among some members of the Washington Wizards that Nene is done for the season with a torn ligament in his left knee, although the team won’t know for certain until the Brazilian big man meets with team doctors and has an MRI exam on Monday.
Of course, nothing has been said about Nene’s injury yet, but Michael Lee usually gets these reports right. Nene couldn’t put any weight on his leg and it appeared like a non-contact injury, which obviously isn’t good. With just 26 games remaining in the season, the Wizards are trying to separate themselves from several teams trying to make a final playoff push, and they’ve done a good job, especially since they got back to .500 last night.
Washington’s record without Nene has been atrocious, but that’s not to say the Wizards won’t have any help. Trevor Booker has had a good season, and Kevin Seraphin has the offensive tools to fill some of the void. Al Harrington has also reemerged from injury in the past few games, and I suppose he could also provide some relief.
With that said, none of the players on Washington’s roster are capable of playing the role Nene played. His presence alone made a difference for the Wizards, giving them another option to run their team through besides John Wall and Bradley Beal. Washington will need several players to step up during this period, especially if Nene misses the rest of the season, and that concerns me. Although I think Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin are capable of playing some good basketball, I don’t trust them nor do I think they’re consistent enough to get the job done.
The Wizards do have an open roster spot, and they could potentially sign a free agent big man in the absence of Nene. Who’s available? Well, there aren’t many intriguing names on the market right now.
Let’s hope that report doesn’t actually occur, because the Wizards might not be able to afford Nene’s loss.