Nene apologizes for Web site's posting saying tumor was benign
DENVER -- Nuggets forward Nene, who is recovering from testicular cancer, issued an apology and a thank you Sunday.
In his first public comments since discovering he had cancer, Nene said he's sorry that his Web site posted an incorrect statement saying his tumor was benign when it was actually malignant and added that he's thankful for an outpouring of support from across the world.
The Brazilian forward took an indefinite leave of absence from the team on Jan. 11 and underwent surgery in Denver. Shortly afterward, his Web site posted a statement saying the tumor was benign. But that announcement quickly was removed, and doctors later said it was cancerous but isolated and that Nene is expected to make a full recovery.
"I would like to apologize for the incorrect information that was disclosed. There was no bad-faith or intention to fool anyone upon the announcement of a wrong result for the biopsy," Nene said in a statement Sunday that blamed a miscommunication for the error.
"But the worst part is over, I am very happy with the result of the exams, happy for feeling better," said Nene, who visited the Nuggets at practice on Thursday and spent time with coach George Karl, who is a cancer survivor himself and has a son, Coby, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, who is also a cancer survivor.
"It was wonderful to meet my basketball family, my Denver teammates, and I was surprised with the support and the way they welcomed me back. It is because of emotions like this that I see how difficult it will be to stay away from the courts," Nene said.
No timetable has been set for Nene's return, although the Nuggets are hoping he'll be back on the court in April.
"My mind is there, with the team, but my body needs to rest and to recover," Nene said. "And to know that I am recovering is a big comfort. I had the opportunity to talk with my coach Karl, who also faced very difficult moments and won such battles."
He said he's heard from fans "from all parts of the world" wishing him well.
"I am well, feeling strong and grateful for all this affection that came from so much people, from so many places, and which was a very strong support point to me in the course of the last month," he said.
Nene is averaging 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds. He missed 22 games earlier this season after an operation on his left thumb. He was out for all but one game of the 2005-06 season after tearing a knee ligament, and he was sidelined for 27 games the season before with a variety of ailments after signing a six-year, $60 million contract.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press