Feb 3, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) celebrates with Wizards power forward Nene (42) against the Portland Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 100-90. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Wizards' Nene (MCL Sprain) Could Return April 9th vs. Bobcats

In case you haven’t heard, the Washington Wizards have clinched a spot in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2008 with their victory over the Boston Celtics last night at home. The good news kept coming, as Nene, who’s been out for about 6 weeks with a sprained MCL that he suffered against the Cleveland Cavaliers, may return sooner rather than later.

According to J.Michael of CSN Washington, Nene could return as early as April 9th against the Charlotte Bobcats:

Nene (left knee ligament strain) has been doing non-contact drills for the past week and could return to the court as early as April 9 when the Wizards play what could be their biggest game of the season vs. the Charlotte Bobcats at Verizon Center.

Despite Nene’s absence, the Wizards have still played well enough to secure a postseason spot, thus showing their growth as a team and their ability to collectively make up for his loss. Although they’re still above .500 and will likely finish in the middle of the playoff picture, the Wizards have still missed Nene and their defense has dropped off in particular. Nene is arguably their second most important player, especially considering how much the team depends on him for production on both sides of the floor. Players like Al Harrington, Trevor Booker and especially Drew Gooden have stepped up with Nene out, but I’m sure the Wizards can’t wait to get him back on the court.

Unless something unexpected occurs, I think Nene will be back in about a week. Washington has been extremely cautious with their injured players this season and seeing as though Nene could return in about six days, you’d have to think that he’s progressed well in his rehab and path back to playing.

The good news keeps coming for the Wizards and Nene will be welcomed back.

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