Arenas has knee drained, misses Wizards' practice again

Updated: November 7, 2007, 5:11 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Even if Gilbert Arenas is having problems with his left knee, Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan isn't quite ready to worry.

Arenas
Arenas

Arenas' surgically repaired knee was drained for the second time in three weeks Wednesday, forcing him to miss practice for a third consecutive day. Still, Jordan expects Arenas to play against New Jersey on Thursday night.

"There's no red flags," Jordan said. "He just has to keep getting through his therapy, his rehab, and getting some rest when he can."

Asked how long it might be until Arenas is 100 percent healthy, the coach said: "We don't know how long it's going to take. You know, Gil's pretty darn good at whatever percent he's at, anyway."

Arenas said his knee felt stiff after Washington's last game, a 94-82 loss to Orlando on Saturday that dropped the Wizards to 0-3. He hasn't practiced since.

"It feels like a 5-pound weight is on it," Arenas said that night, adding he thought he might need to have fluid drained. His left knee also was drained of excess fluid Oct. 17.

There's no red flags. He just has to keep getting through his therapy, his rehab, and getting some rest when he can.

--Wizards coach Eddie Jordan, on Arenas' injury

Arenas did not speak to reporters Wednesday, but he did refer to the knee on his blog.

"I have to get my knee drained and get the fluid out so I can be ready for the next 15 days. I guess it's like a 15-day period after I drain my knee that I'm at 100 percent," the blog says. "There's no pain, it's just stiffness."

Arenas spoke Saturday about tailing off in what was his first set of back-to-back games since hurting his knee in April.

"That's where I thought he wasn't his explosive self," Jordan said. "That's the only game."

Arenas made his first three shots against Orlando, then went 2-for-12 the rest of the way. He shot 0-for-4 on 3-pointers that night, making him 1-for-17 from beyond the arc this season. Arenas is shooting 33 percent overall.

"I'm just shooting really bad right now," his blog says, "but I'll get the mojo back in a minute."

The Wizards began the season by playing three games in four nights, and they have another such stretch now: Thursday's game is followed by one at home against Denver on Friday, then a game at Atlanta on Sunday.

Arenas went five days without playing in an exhibition game after his knee was drained last month. But Wizards captain Antawn Jamison said Arenas told him he'll be ready to play Thursday.

"From my understanding, he said he was mentally ready and physically he felt good," Jamison said. "So we'll see tomorrow."

Added teammate DeShawn Stevenson: "Gil's a gamer. He can sit out five games and come out and play the way he plays. ... He's going to be all right."

The Wizards probably could use Arenas against the Nets. New Jersey won all four of the teams' meetings last season, with Nets point guard Jason Kidd averaging a double-double in those games.

Plus, there's this: Washington is shooting an NBA-worst 35.4 percent so far -- only one other team, the Chicago Bulls, is under 40 percent -- and averaging only 91.7 points, a decrease of more than 12 points from last season's output.

"It's the fourth game of the season," Jamison said, "but it's a big game."

All of which is why it would have been preferable to have Arenas practicing this week.

"It would have been nice to get some continuity, some chemistry, to get the feel with Gil out there," Jamison said. "But the thing with Gil is, he's a special talent, especially on the offensive end. ... We've just got to find a way to get it done."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press