David Nwaba underwent season-ending surgery Friday at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan to repair the right Achilles he tore in the Nets’ loss at San Antonio Thursday night. He met with someone who feels bad over what the injury means for him as well as the team.
“I saw him [Friday] and spoke with him,” coach Kenny Atkinson said before Saturday night’s game against Atlanta at Barclays Center. “He was in good spirits.”
The 6-5 guard/forward averaged 5.2 points and 13.4 minutes across 20 games. But his scoring average was up to 9.0 in the previous nine games before Thursday. Nwaba also brought some important elements to the second unit.
“I thought he really helped us off the bench,” Atkinson said. “I think we’re going to miss his defense, his athleticism. He was shooting 42 percent from three, too. So he was really playing at a high level.
“I really feel for him, first of all. For the Nets, it’s a big loss. He was playing as well as anybody, quite honestly. It’s a tough one.”
The Nets waived guard Iman Shumpert on Dec. 12 to clear roster space for Wilson Chandler to return from his 25-game suspension. Shumpert also had provided strong perimeter defense off the bench.
How about a reunion with Nwaba now out?
“I think that that’s the front office right now understanding what we’re doing in terms of everybody, with David, the potential injury exception and all that,” Atkinson said. “Nothing’s been decided. We can’t do anything right now. It’s kind of a moot point.”
Kyrie Irving missed his 18th straight game with a shoulder impingement. Anything new to report?
“Still no update,” Atkinson said. “He still hasn’t been cleared for contact. That’s kind of the next step. So we’re just not there yet.”