Brazil­ian Nene out of Rock­ets’ play­off push

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Hous­ton Rock­ets forward Nene has been ruled out of the re­main­der of the sea­son af­ter suf­fer­ing a torn thigh mus­cle, the team con­firmed on Mon­day.

The 34-year-old Brazil­ian was in­jured in the first quar­ter of Sun­day’s Game 4 win over the San An­to­nio Spurs, hob­bling off af­ter just two min­utes.

“The Rock­ets med­i­cal staff is cur­rently re­view­ing treat­ment op­tions,” the team said in a state­ment.

Nene’s ab­sence was a blow to the Rock­ets as they pre­pared for yes­ter­day’s Game 5 with the se­ries finely bal­anced at 2-2.

The 2.1m forward has av­er­aged 10.8 points and 5.3 re­bounds per game dur­ing the play­offs.

Rock­ets star James Harden called on Hous­ton to rally around fol­low­ing Nene’s in­jury blow, with Mon­trezl Har­rell a likely back-up op­tion at cen­tre de­spite only play­ing 18 min­utes in the post­sea­son. “He’s a big part of what we do,” team­mate Harden said of Nene. “Guys have to step up. It’s an op­por­tu­nity for guys who don’t play big min­utes and for guys like Mon­trezl who haven’t re­ally played and might get some opportunities. Who­ever it is, we’ve got to try to fill that role.”

Nene joined the Rock­ets last year af­ter a four-year stint with the Wash­ing­ton Wizards which fol­lowed a decade with the Den­ver Nuggets.

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