Nuggets power forward Nene is expected to miss up to six weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Nene was injured in Denver's 119-93 loss at Boston on Wednesday night. He saw a hand specialist in Denver on Thursday. Dr. Carlton Clinkscale will operate on the thumb Friday, the team said.
The Nuggets, who have lost three straight games, have been hit hard by injuries for the third straight season. They have three points guards who are out: Michael Wilks (hamstring), Anthony Carter (broken hand) and Chucky Atkins (groin) and are monitoring minutes for power forward Kenyon Martin, coming back from a knee operation last year. Martin isn't playing in back-to-back games and is limited to about 18 minutes a game.
Nene made a successful comeback last season from a knee injury that wiped out almost his entire 2005-06 season.