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At Nene's wish, Nuggets keeping quiet on forward's leave of absence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- 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.