We all know the Wizards desperately need Nene to stay healthier than he did last season, especially now with Emeka Okafor out a while. Keeping an older big man fresh is an inexact science, and there are many theories on how to do it. We've known that Nene essentially shut it down this summer; now, we know more details. Via Michael Lee:
Nene's sole purpose this offseason was to protect his banged-up body, to practically encase himself in bubble wrap after having most of his tenure with the Washington Wizardsrestricted because of a nagging bout of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
The Brazilian big man avoided contact, stayed off the basketball court and played pickup soccer instead, the grass providing a softer surface for his delicate feet and sometimes-creaky knees.
I've never heard of a training regiment that included only playing another sport, but I'm not exactly the type to train for serious athletic competitions. What's scarier/more hilarious in a dark way is this:
The plan to rest and receive treatment so that he would be fully healthy for the upcoming season went perfectly - until Nene decided to play a pickup basketball game at Verizon Center a few days before training camp and nearly suffered a serious injury to his left pinkie finger.
"I almost lost my finger last Monday," Nene said with a grin as he glanced down at the protective splint on his left hand. "Guy tried to grab rebound, forgot the ball and kept my finger. Almost broke. Almost."
And then also this:
He admitted to having another momentary scare during Monday's practice, when Kevin Seraphin stepped on his foot and nearly twisted his ankle.
Life is basically one huge injury scare for Nene at this point. We may need to resort to more drastic measures.
(But seriously, stay healthy Nene. And if we're already at two scares by the third day of training camp, we may have a bigger problem).