CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -The Denver Nuggets remained mum Monday on the medical condition that has sidelined Nene. Coach George Karl indicated they are preparing to be without him for some time.
The Brazilian forward took an indefinite leave of absence on Friday.
``I was hurt and saddened by the news,'' Karl said without elaborating. ``Now the support and strength of the team to give to him is important.''
Nene, who is averaging 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds, missed 22 games earlier this season after undergoing left thumb surgery. The Nuggets, citing privacy laws, have gone along with Nene's decision to remain quiet on his condition.
``He's a very private person. He's a very quiet person,'' Karl said before Monday's game against Charlotte. ``I'm sure now he's even more private and more quiet than ever. We're going to reach out to him and make sure he understands what he needs will be given to him, both emotionally, physically and hopefully spiritually, too.''
Nene's career has been plagued by injuries. He missed all but one game of the 2005-06 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He missed 27 games the season before with a variety of ailments.
Denver was also without forward Eduardo Najera on Monday against the Bobcats. Najera hyperextended his right elbow in Friday's win over Orlando. X-rays were negative and Najera could play Tuesday in Atlanta.
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