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Nene returns after cancer

From Times Wire Reports

Denver Nuggets forward Nene played for the first time Thursday since taking a leave of absence Jan. 11 to undergo surgery for a malignant testicular tumor.

Nene, who underwent a single dose of chemotherapy last month, entered the game against the Dallas Mavericks at Denver with 1:17 left to a rousing standing ovation.

“It’s not about how he plays. . . . This has nothing to do with basketball. We’re just happy he’s with us,” Coach George Karl said beforehand.

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Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo expects to start tonight against New Orleans despite suffering a sore hamstring Wednesday against Phoenix. . . . Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will miss the next four games because of a groin injury suffered Tuesday against Washington. . . . Seattle SuperSonics forward Chris Wilcox will miss the rest of the season because of a dislocated finger on his right hand, first injured in a game Jan. 3 against the Phoenix Suns and aggravated March 19 against the Suns. . . . Currently on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff race, the New Jersey Nets (31-41) have no plans to fire Coach Lawrence Frank if they don’t make the playoffs, team President Rod Thorn told the Newark Star-Ledger.


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